Uniquely positioned to steer a volatile and misunderstood industry facing new legislation
The Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA), its president assures, is geared to steer members and the sector through a volatile period that includes impending legislation to address prescribed assets, low returns and strong calls for societal upliftment and development.
Enos Ngutshane, elaborates, “As a sector, we need to consult, engage and share knowledge for the benefit of members and pensioners. We also need to educate the public on how to achieve better retirement outcomes. I believe the industry is often misunderstood and if we work together as bodies to achieve a unified understanding we will make a real social and economic difference.”
Talks are already underway with, among others, BATSETA, a non-profit organisation focusing on the interests of principal officers, trustees and fund fiduciaries, as well as the Financial Planning Institute, National Treasury, the Financial Services Conduct Authority and the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.
IRFA, Ngutshane assures, is uniquely positioned to lead this dialogue and is working towards achieving a meeting of minds among stakeholders while fostering sound relationships with regulators and opinion makers. The focus will be to consult, engage and share knowledge.
Principal Officer, Anthony Williams, says, “One of the prime challenges is to put members and pensioners at ease. So incoming legislation needs to be communicated and explained in a manner that informs and defuses panic across society. The sector must maintain stability while investment markets are in flux, continue to improve the lives of members and pensioners and ensure that assets are well guarded. As such IRFA will continue to play a prominent role. We will certainly focus on strengthening the bonds between all role players in the sector, both in South
Africa and north of our borders as we transform the African retirement world into a retirement village.”
Elaborating on the continental retirement landscape, Ngutshane adds, “IRFA can certainly facilitate the discourse on retirement outcomes. We are currently networking and benchmarking with industry colleagues from neighbouring states and hope to contribute to social security. While a recent Pensions SA benchmarking study yielded invaluable insights into how the African retirement sector perceives the role of an industry body such as IRFA as well as the required support services. Advocacy and lobbying top the list with education and knowledge transfer between all countries.”
Williams says, as IRFA draws together all stakeholders for the ultimate benefit of the members of funds, its primary role is a cohesive one.
Both consider it important to encourage society to invest in the future and to personally pay forward with their expertise and experience.
As Ngutshane concludes, “It is important to contribute, as there is limited knowledge about the retirement industry.”
An authority in corporate governance, local government, rail safety, occupational health and safety, he has worked for institutions and in industries such as, Gauteng Government as Deputy Director General, Wits Business School as lecturer, and as CEO for the South African Foundation for Public. He also chaired the PRASA Provident Funds.
His milestone achievements include the establishment of the Public and Development Management Programme Faculty at Wits University, strategic business re-engineering, human capital development, large scale change and transformation, policy development and implementation, public transport management, pension fund investments and corporate governance.
His experience cuts across housing and local government, conflict resolution, rail safety, enterprise risk management, corporate governance, new business development and contracts management, asset management.
With a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, he has undertaken executive development programmes in Botswana, Zambia, India, Malaysia and the University of Cape Town. He serves as the external examiner at the Public and Development Management Programme at the Wits Faculty of Law and Commerce.
Williams is the Chief Executive and Principal Officer of the SABC fension Fund and its medical scheme), a position he has held for 18 years. He has 31 years’ experience in the retirement fund industry, and was Investment Administration Manager at the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund. A Chartered Accountant with an inherent love for communication, as well as for serving the members and golden-agers of the Broadcasting community.
He was actively involved in the research oversight and planning committee into the best practices industry study commissioned by the IRFA into local and global best practices. Under his tenure, the SABC Pension Fund has been the recipient of 15 local and 16 International Best Practices awards.