Does your fund send the right mes­sage?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONAL FINANCE -

Hear ye, all trustees of re­tire­ment funds! Do you think your com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your mem­bers is up to scratch?

If you think it is, the In­sti­tute of Re­tire­ment Funds (IRF) would like you to en­ter your fund in the an­nual IRF/Per­sonal Fi­nance Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Chal­lenge, where you will find out if your fund re­ally is bet­ter than its peers in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with your mem­bers.

Carla Latch­man, the IRF’s le­gal and tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer, says com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween trustees and mem­bers is of para­mount im­por­tance. It is not only a good thing to do but is a le­gal re­quire­ment.

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board’s cir­cu­lars to pen­sion funds place min­i­mum dis­clo­sure obli­ga­tions on trustees. The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Chal­lenge seeks to en­cour­age com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­yond these min­i­mum re­quire­ments.

“It is im­por­tant for mem­bers to be knowl­edge­able about their re­tire­ment sav­ings so that they will be able to make in­formed de­ci­sions. A trustee also has a fidu­ciary duty to­wards a mem­ber, and one of the most fun­da­men­tal ways of dis­play­ing trustee ac­count­abil­ity would be to com­mu­ni­cate to mem­bers on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” Latch­man says.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not just about telling a mem­ber what is hap­pen­ing; it is en­sur­ing that a mem­ber can un­der­stand what is be­ing con­veyed, she says.

Funds that en­ter the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Chal­lenge are judged on how suc­cess­ful they are at pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion that mem­bers will find of real value.

There are cat­e­gories for re­tire­ment funds of dif­fer­ent types and sizes.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to en­ter, con­tact carla@irf.org.za or 011 781 4320. En­tries close at the end of July.

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