Momentum gains for Takaud’s MENA pensions conference
TAKAUD, the specialist provider of savings and pension solutions for the MENA region, announced yesterday that, with almost 250 registered delegates to date, momentum is building for the Middle East and North Africa “MENA” Pensions Conference. The Conference will bring together, for the first time, private and public sector representatives, regional and global institutions and leading employee benefits consultants to discuss how the region can reflect global practices in pension schemes for citizens and expat workers. The Conference is being held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, Bahrain on October 18, 2016.
“The support we have received has been overwhelming,” said Ebrahim K Ebrahim, TAKAUD’s Chief Government Business and Communications Officer, and the leader of the Conference initiative. “We are most grateful for the high level commitment demonstrated for the Conference and its important goals.”The Conference has drawn prominent speakers, including representatives of international organisations such as the World Bank, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the World Pension Council. Public pension entities from Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco will provide their perspective to the audience of distinguished and expert delegates. Delegates from across the region will be joined by international delegates from the countries of Albania, Mongolia, Nigeria and Namibia.
Official Conference partners include the Economic Development Board, Nogaholding, Bahrain Bourse and the SIO (Social Insurance Organisation). Ebrahim emphasizes that the Conference is meeting a need in the region by bringing together public pension administrators, private-sector pension providers, economic advisors, financial services regulators, asset managers, and specialist financial firms. He points out that the Conference mandate supports public and private pension provision: “Globally, there are challenges in sustaining social security benefits due to changes in economic, demographic and social conditions,” he stated.
“This conference will explore and present options beyond sole pension-provision by governments, in line with the World Bank’s three-pillar pension format”. Moreover, with the presence of substantial numbers of expatriate workers throughout the region, there is a need to ensure that this working population has access to regulated private-sector pensions, assuring them of some sort of retirement security. In many companies the End-of-Service Benefits (ESBs) for expat workers are not adequately managed in accordance with global best practices.”
In our region alone, private sector pensions are currently a US$30 billion business. Experts have calculated that by 2023, just seven years from now, if this region invests in private and corporate pensions at a level that reflects the average of the 16 countries studied by Towers Watson in 2015, pensions will represent $1.9 trillion in assets under management, which in turn can turn the region into a super financial centre.
Ebrahim K Ebrahim