• RFS

    Retirement Fund Solutions

  • Benchmark

    Benchmark Retirement Fund

  • Benchmark Annual Report 2019

    benchmark annual report 2019 cover

  • Benchmark unclaimed benefits


    The Benchmark Retirement Fund is trying to locate previous members to whom benefits are owed. They were employees of:

    • African Business Investments
    • African Marketing
    • Brandberg Construction
    • Gondwana Group
    • Hollard Insurance Company
    • Medfam Holdings
    • Namibia Engineering Corporation
    • Namibia Lead and Zinc Mining
    • Plastic Packaging
    • Scania Namibia
    • Schoemans Office Systems
    • Springbok Atlas
    • Tunacor Fisheries Limited
    • The Free Press of Namibia
    • Transworld Cargo
    • Tyrepro Namibia
    • Westair Aviation
    • Wilderness Group

    Members should please contact Retirement Fund Solutions’ offices on tel. 061 - 446 000 and present a valid Identification Document or valid Drivers License. If you know a person on this list, please inform her or him.

  • Benchmark 2020-08

    In August 2020 the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 0.9% (July 2020: 1.7%). Top performer is Stanlib Managed Fund with 2.1%, while Allan Gray Balanced Fund with 0.1% takes the bottom spot. For the 3-month period, NAM Coronation Balanced Plus Fund takes the top spot, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 2.2%. On the other end of the scale Allan Gray Balanced Fund underperformed the ‘average’ by 2.7%. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees.

    The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 August 2020 provides a full review of portfolio performances and other interesting analyses.

    Pensioners beware - this is not the time to raise your investment risk!

    ...When one has been used to the longer-term achievements of the prudential balanced portfolio managers, one can understand that pension fund members and pensioners will be disappointed with the shorter term returns their pension investment will have produced. Tragically, shrewd brokers out in the market have seen this state of affairs as an opportunity to discredit proven prudential balanced portfolios and to coerce pensioners to transfer their retirement capital into high risk portfolios, using shorter-term investment returns some of these managed to produce, as the result of the distortions that occurred in the markets since the global financial crisis...

    I strongly advise pensioners, in particular, to be cognisant of the following before taking a decision concerning the investment of their retirement capital:

    • The prudential balanced portfolio has proven itself to offer the best risk adjusted returns to the pension fund member/ pensioner in the long-term;
    • Clamouring for returns higher than what the prudential balanced portfolio typically produces, means taking higher excessive risk as a matter of course;
    • Retail products are generally more costly than institutional products; latter offer economies of scale, former offers more personalised structuring;
    • Do not put yourself at the mercy of a single individual who may no longer be around tomorrow;
    • Understand how the investment returns of your capital are produced;
    • Have a benchmark for comparing your returns;
    • Understand all the costs associated with your investment that detract from the returns your capital earns; and
    • Understand the termination conditions of the product you intend to invest in;

    Last but not least, as a pensioner, you will lose confidence in taking your own decisions as you grow older. In a retail product you will then increase your dependence on your broker ever more, while many institutional products offer default options that the managers manage in the best interests of the member/ pensioner and that can relieve the member/ pensioner of the responsibility to take decisions when he no longer has the confidence or knowledge to do so. As a pensioner you must ascertain that you are at peace with the party/ies in whose custody your retirement capital is. You cannot afford and do not want to lose sleep over this!

    Read part 6 of the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 August 2020 to find out what our investment views are.

  • Early Bird 2020-08

    The Early Bird fund performance indicators for August 2020 have been released. To get an early feel for what to expect of the month in terms of returns on your pension investment, the market lost 0.44% (Allshare Index ex div), ranging between 3.72% (Consumer Goods) and -4.25% (Financials). The Rand strengthened by 0.37 % to the US$. Typical prudential managed pension portfolios returned between 2.68% (Coronation Balanced Fund) and -2.51% (Old Mutual Namibia Growth Fund) after fees.

  • Benchtest 2020-07

    In July 2020 the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 1.7% (June 2020: 2.3%). Top performer is NAM Coronation Balanced Plus Fund with 2.5%, while Allan Gray Balanced Fund with 0.1% takes the bottom spot. For the 3-month period, NAM Coronation Balanced Plus Fund takes the top spot, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 2.2%. On the other end of the scale Allan Gray Balanced Fund underperformed the ‘average’ by 3.1%. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees.

    The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2020 provides a full review of portfolio performances and other interesting analyses.

    When can we expect to see double digit returns again?

    In our latest Benchtest newsletter 07.2020, we present two articles that effectively address the same subject. Firstly ‘Governments must beware of the lure of free money’ that appeared in the Economist of 23 July wherein it is pointed out that we are currently dealing with a profound shift in economics as the result of policy decisions taken by governments across the developed world in response to the COVID pandemic. It talks of 4 defining features of the ‘new epoch’ induced by COVID. Firstly, the extent of government borrowing, secondly, the extent of money printing by central banks, thirdly the governments’ increasing roles as capital allocators in their economies and fourthly, a persistently low inflation rate. These ‘epochal features’ lay the foundation for how economies and consequently the financial markets will evolve for many years to come.

    The second article ‘Portfolios need to be more active and flexible to ensure returns’, international asset manager Schroders believes that both, equity and bond returns, are likely to be lower in the future than during the past 10 years. Equities are facing economic headwinds and record valuations, while interest rates are at record lows and likely to remain low for years, affecting both the income and price appreciation potential for bonds...

    Read part 6 of the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2020 to find out what our investment views are.

  • Quarterly Reports 2020 Q2

  • Benchmark Actuarial Report 2018

  • 2019 Financial Highlights

    The Benchmark financial highlights for 2019 have been released and can be downloaded here.

  • New Benchmark Trustees

    The Board of Trustees of the Benchmark Retirement Fund has appointed Mrs. Malverene Theron as new Trustee of the Fund effective 1 January 2020. She takes the place of Mr. Martin Moeller whose term ended on 31 December 2019.

    2020 01 Theron

    Above: New Benchmark Retirement Fund Trustee, Malverene Theron, offers a wealth of experience to the Fund.

    Martin Moeller's career in banking stretches back to 1967. He was a specialist consultant to the CIH Group. During his time at Commercial Bank of Namibia/Nedbank Namibia he was a trustee of their pension fund. In his various positions during his banking career he honed his skills in governance, compliance and risk mitigation. His fields of expertise include treasury operations, international and cross-border trade, risk awareness guidance and advisory services for non-resident investments in Namibia.

    2020 01 Moeller

    Above: Outgoing Benchmark Retirement Fund Trustee, Martin Moeller, receives a gift from the trustees of the Fund.

    Mrs. Theron obtained an LLB Law degree from the University of Cape Town, is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). She is currently employed as Procurement Manager at De Beers Marine Namibia.

    Mrs. Theron has been involved in a number of professional assignments, including:

    • 2016 Conference Speaker at the Annual Procurement Conference in Windhoek
    • 2015 Professional Management Excellence (PME) Program through Wits Business School
    • 2014 Board Member of NACC (Namibian Competition Commission) - 2 terms (6 years)
    • 2011 Board Member of NAMFISA (Namibian Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority) - 2 terms (6 years)
    • 2010 Public Presentation on BEE for the Economic Society of Namibia
    • 2009 Secretary to Toast Masters International, Swakopmund Branch
    • 2007 Project Leader and Manager for drafting the Empowerment Strategy for the Republic of Namibia - (TESEF)
    • 2006 Organizing and hosting BEE workshop in conjunction with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Department of Trade and Industry - South Africa
    • 2005 Launch of the NPPC (Namibian Preferential Procurement Council) - Chairperson and presenter at the first Black Economic Empowerment Conference, Windhoek

    Mrs. Theron offers a wealth of experience and expertise and is keen to further improve the functionality and offering of the Benchmark Retirement Fund for the benefit of all its stakeholders.

    The Board congratulates Malverene on her appointment and looks forward to working closely with her in protecting and promoting the interests of the Fund and its members in the years to come!


  • Benchmark Actuarial Report 2018

  • Benchmark announces 2018 results to members

    In 2018 the local Benchmark Retirement Fund’s assets grew to N$2.920 billion, up from N$2.744 billion in 2017. Its membership grew to 11 548 members.

    Despite the challenging operating environment and the proliferation of regulatory requirements, the Fund continues to grow, with new participating employers joining the Fund as well as with a growing number of members preserving their retirement capital in the Fund or choosing to draw monthly pensions from the Fund.

    Read the full article here...

  • 2018 Benchmark Annual Report

  • Selecting asset managers to diversify risk

    Trustees mostly understand that it is a risk to engage a single manager to manage their fund’s assets within a single investment mandate. But do they understand what risk or risks they face and which one will be reduced through the appointment of more than one manager and what is the correct number of managers to use?


  • Fund membership must be a condition of employment

    We wish to draw the attention of employers who participate in the Benchmark Retirement Fund, to the fact that it is a requirement that all new employees joining the employer after the date the employer joined the fund, must be enrolled as members of the fund. This is not optional and employers affording new employees the choice whether or not to become a member are transgressing the rules, the agreement with the fund and the requirements of the Income Tax Act.

    Employers who engage in such practice firstly may find that the Receiver of Revenue cancels the tax approval of the employer’s pension fund. In terms of the Income Tax Act, membership of a fund must be obligatory in order for employee contributions being allowed as a deduction against the employee’s taxable income. Cancellation of tax approval will mean that the contributions that employees have made to the fund will be disallowed. In other words the employees that participate will be punished for the transgression by those the employer afforded the choice to join and who chose not to join.

    From the fund’s and the insurer’s perspective it is also important that membership is a condition of employment. This serves to ensure that the employees cannot apply anti-selection. In other words healthy employees are more likely not to join while those who know to have a health impediment are more likely to join. As the result the fund may end up with the poor risks undermining the principles of group underwriting. To protect the fund against such practices, the trustees have the powers to terminate membership of an employer.

  • Seven habits of financially healthy retirees

    Seven habits of financially healthy retirees

    Sanlam has provided a guide to the seven good habits of financially healthy retirees. How do you measure up? Click here for the bigger picture...

  • Why preserve your retirement capital?

    Why preserve your retirement capital?

    How you manage your pension fund when you resign will decide your wealth. You may withdraw it, but is that the best choice for your future?

  • Benchmark retirement capital preservation

    Benchmark retirement capital preservation

    When you change jobs, stop working or are retrenched and have to withdraw from the retirement fund you have been contributing to, you can preserve your fund credit in the Benchmark Retirement Fund.

    By transferring your fund credit to the Benchmark Retirement Fund you will preserve it for retirement and will be able to grow it with investment returns.

    Preserving your fund credit is imperative to ensure that you reach your retirement objectives and is a tax efficient way to exit your current retirement fund.

  • Benchmark living annuities

    Benchmark living annuities

    When reaching retirement age (depending on the rules of your current retirement fund), you can invest your fund credit in an investment linked living annuity in the Benchmark Retirement Fund to receive your monthly pension.

    You can join Benchmark Retirement Fund on retirement. You do not already have to be a member of the Fund at that stage.

    The monthly pension can be chosen by you, taking the requirements of the Income Tax Act into account. The monthly pension will be a function of the amount of capital available, the investment returns earned and the period for which you require a monthly pension.

Retirement Fund Solutions

Managed by Namibians. Trusted by Namibians.

Benchmark Retirement Fund

Efficient. Trusted. Namibian.

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