Paid and prepared
MORE THAN A QUARTER of retirement fund trustees in South Africa and Britain go to their meetings ill-prepared. That’s one of the key findings by professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in its 2010 Trustee Remuneration Survey.
PWC surveyed the views of chairmen, trustee board members and principal officers of 243 private and specialist funds in SA about the workings of their boards – with a particular focus on remuneration – and compared those findings with those polled in Britain. It found between 20% and 30% of trustees in both SA and Britain continued to go to meetings unprepared, as was the case in PWC’s 2007 survey.
PWC says this behaviour is directly correlated with whether or not trustees are remunerated. For example, only 16% of funds that remunerate responded that trustees aren’t fully prepared and don’t get involved between meetings, while 36% of non-remunerating funds confirmed this. Of those that remunerated, 65% of trustees dedicate the necessary time every month and were appropriately prepared for meetings while only 41% of non-remunerating funds were of that view.
The survey found only 45% of SA funds remunerate their trustees compared with 93% in Britain. The main reason for not remunerating is that trustee duties in SA are perceived to be part of the trustee’s employee salary and trustee time is taken out of normal working hours.