• Early Bird 2024-02

    The Early Bird fund performance indicators for February 2024 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 2.45% (Allshare Index ex div), ranging between 0.45% (Technology) and -7.06% (Oil & Gas). The Rand weakened by 2.60% to the US$. Typical prudential managed pension portfolios returned between 1.675% (Namibia Coronation Balanced Plus Fund) and -2.384% (Sanlam Namibia General Equity Fund) after fees..

  • Benchtest 2024-01

    In January 2024, the average prudential balanced portfolio returned -0.2% (December 2023: 1.7%). The top performer is Namibia Coronation Balanced Plus Fund, with 0.4%, while Allan Gray Balanced Fund, with -0.8%, takes the bottom spot. Namibia Coronation Balanced Fund takes the top spot for the three months, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 3.5%. Hangala Capital Absolute Balanced Fund underperformed the ‘average’ by 2.2% on the other end of the scale. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees.

    The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 January 2024 reviews portfolio performances and provides insightful analyses.

    The world needs competing financial systems

    I observe with trepidation how the US got half the world to firmly toe its line in meeting the concerted challenge to its dominance relating to Russia, the Middle East and the Far East. I perceive a vigorous US will to reinforce itself by all means. Its economic measures proved to be ineffective against Russia. It has not yet instituted any determined economic measures against China, as it could be a double-edged sword. As for Europe, in the case of Russia, the US prefers to let its European allies carry the costly burden of its economic measures. While there is still too much at stake for sanctioning China, shifting manufacturing away from China will make it easier to put the thumbscrews on China. In the cases of other smaller countries, in particular the smaller BRICS member states, the US will pursue its maxim of ‘divide et empera’. The unjustified Rand weakness is a symptom of political pressures on ‘unruly’ countries. However, Africa has the market and the natural resources to withstand any pressure from anywhere, provided it stands together to the motto, ex unitate vires.

    The US is now left with one of two options. Either it accepts the establishment of a multipolar world and finds its best fit into the new global order, or it embroils all its geopolitical adversaries in a third World War. Reading European media, one must become very concerned about the evident shift from a pacifist tone since World War II to creating a war atmosphere more recently. I believe the stakes for the US are too high to give up its global dominance. It does not seem that its major global adversaries will relent in their challenge of US dominance. Because the Ukraine proxy war is unlikely to subjugate Russia, and because China will unlikely backtrack on its chosen path, the US will only have a chance to maintain its dominance by going to war.

    European leaders have stated in unison that Russia may not win this war. It becomes evident that Ukraine will not withstand the Russian pressure for too long. The fact that one reads more regularly about peace initiatives supports the assertion that Ukraine is losing this war. Russia’s progress in the war would leave the European leaders with only one face-saving alternative: to get involved actively. If it were left to Ukraine, NATO would have been drawn into the war a long time ago with claims of a Russian missile attack on Poland that later proved to be a Ukrainian missile. Now, Poland wants NATO to help it protect its airspace. In my reading, it is another pretence for drawing NATO into the war, unleashing World War III. It seems governments worldwide believe another great war will be good for the world and solve many problems it is currently facing.

    In the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 January 2024, we elaborate on the strategies an investor should follow under the above circumstances. It also reflects the editor’s views on current developments and their impact on investment markets.

  • Unclaimed benefits - February 2024

    A number of members of employer groups have unclaimed benefits in the Benchmark Retirement Fund. They were employees of Ark Trading, African Business Investments, Agra, Brandberg Construction, Diesel Electric Holdings, Gondwana Group, Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, Namibia Lead and Zinc Mining, Namibia Engineering Corporation, Nedbank, Plastic Packaging and Wilderness Group. Members should please contact RFS Fund Administrators’ 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.

  • Financial Highlights 2023

    The Benchmark financial highlights for 2023 have been released and can be downloaded here.

  • Early Bird 2023-12

    The Early Bird fund performance indicators for December 2023 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 gained 1.80% (Allshare Index ex div), ranging between 12.21% (Telecommunication) and -9.74% (Technology). The Rand strengthened by 2.76% to the US$. Typical prudential managed pension portfolios returned between 3.289% (Namibia Coronation Balanced Plus Fund) and 0.458% (Sanlam Namibia Balanced Fund) after fees.

  • Benchmark Annual Report 2023

    benchmark annual report 2023 cover b

  • 2023 Annual Member Meeting videos

    If you couldn't attend but still want the updates and insights, or want to refresh your knowledge, watch the videos of the 2023 Annual Member Meeting here...

  • Quarterly Reports - 2023 Q3

  • Hermann Hentschel appointed Benchmark trustee

    The Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Mr. Hermann Hentschel as independent trustee to the Benchmark Retirement Fund effective 1 November 2023.

    Mr. Hentschel brings a wealth of experience to the Benchmark Board, having served as Chairperson of the FirstRand Namibia Board, Vice Chairperson of the FirstRand Namibia Pension Fund, and Trustee on the O&L Pension Fund.

    Mr. Hentschel holds a Master of Science in Leadership and Change Management and a B-Com (Hons) in Management Accounting. He is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

    The Board welcomes Mr. Hentschel to the Board and looks forward to the value he will add to the Benchmark Retirement Fund.

  • Benchmark Actuarial Report 2022

  • Quarterly Reports - 2022 Q4

  • New Principal Officer for Benchmark

     rfs amoo chimuna

    The Board of Trustees resolved to appoint Mrs. Sophia Amoo-Chimunda as Principal Officer of the Benchmark Retirement from 1 July 2022.

    Mrs. Amoo-Chimunda will take over from Mr. Günter Pfeifer, who has been serving as Principal Officer in the interim while the Fund was recruiting an independent Principal Officer, as required by the Financial Institutions and Markets Act.

    Mrs. Amoo-Chimunda is a legal practitioner with some 16 years’ experience in pension, labour, contract and financial services laws. She has been serving as an Independent Principal Officer of the Protektor Namibia Preservation Funds and is still serving as Independent Principal Officer of the Roads Authority Employee Retirement Fund as well as the Old Mutual Namibia Retirement Fund. She serves as an Independent Trustee of the Napotel Pension Fund.

    From 2007 to 2010, Mrs. Amoo-Chimunda was employed at NAMFISA, initially as legal advisor and eventually as Manager Pensions and Friendly Societies.

    On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome Mrs. Amoo-Chimunda – we look forward to the wealth of experience and industry-related knowledge she brings along, which will equip the Fund to continue serving its members and stakeholders, as well as transitioning to the new legislative environment.

    H-H Müseler
    Chairman: Board of Trustees

  • Sabrina Jacobs appointed Benchmark trustee

    benchmark trustee jacobs

    The Board of Trustees of the Benchmark Retirement Fund appointed Ms. Sabrina Jacobs as a Trustee of the Fund effective 1 May 2021. More...

  • Notification: Change of Benchmark trustees

    Benchmark Retirement Fund is changing its trustees. In terms of the Financial Institutions and Markets Bill, service providers to a fund can no longer serve as trustees to the Fund once the new Act is effective. Over time, trustees of the Benchmark Retirement Fund who are closely associated with the founder Retirement Fund Solutions (RFS), either as shareholders or employees will not serve on the board. More...

  • 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.

How much will you need when you retire and are you investing enough?
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