In this newsletter:
Benchtest 07.2018, message from Managing Director, pension or provident fund, risks of dismissal, conferences and more...

Important notes and reminders

RFS client function to be held on 5 September

RFS will once again host a client function of 5 September at ‘De Kayak’ next to Olympia municipal swimming pool on 5 September starting at 17h15.

The keynote address will be delivered by Brett St Clair. Brett has more than 20 years of experience in the global digital landscape. He mastered the secrets of Silicon Valley over 10 years, as he worked to build African successes at Admob (the world’s largest Mobile Advertising Network), Android, YouTube, Google and Google’s Cloud Computing across Africa.

Brett will speak on ‘Digital Transformation - The Path To Innovation’. Understanding where digital  disruption is coming from and key technology trends causing exponential disruption holds the key to understanding the ways of working in future.

Benchmark Retirement Fund annual member meeting to be held on 6 September

Members of the Benchmark Retirement Fund will be updated on latest developments within the fund, it financial position and investment returns at the annual member meeting to be held at NIPAM, Paul Nash Street Olympia, on 6 September 2018, starting at 17h00. The keynote address will be delivered by Brett St Clair. Brett has more than 20 years of experience in the global digital landscape. He mastered the secrets of Silicon Valley over 10 years, as he worked to build African successes at Admob (the world’s largest Mobile Advertising Network), Android, YouTube, Google and Google’s Cloud Computing across Africa.

Brett will speak on ‘The Era of Digitalism’. The world used to be the domain of Silicon Valley but over 50 billion devices will be connected by 2010. What impact will this have on life for us all? Please confirm your attendance by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Andrea on 061 446 6069 by 31 August

If you are interested in any of these topics, your presence at the meeting is a foregone conclusion!

Quarter 3 of 2018 SIH returns – forewarning

The SIH return at 30 September 2018 is due to be submitted by 15 November (note that the 45 days period remains in place). The return for quarter 2 was due to have been submitted by 15 August.

NAMFISA levies

  • Funds with year-end of July 2018 need to have submitted their 2nd levy return and payments by 25 August 2018; August 2018 year-ends by 25 September 2018.
  • Funds with year-end of January 2018 need to have submitted their 1st levy return and payments by 25 August; February 2018 year-ends by 25 September 2018.
  • Funds with year-end of January 2018 need to submit their final levy return and payment by 31 January 2019; December 2017 year-ends need to submit their final levy return and payment by 31 December 2018.


Dear reader

In this newsletter we present a message by managing director Marthinuz Fabianus to our clients; we review the dilemma of pension fund or provident fund, lump sums or pensions; we review the potential risk of dismissal for an employer; we question the value of conferences, seminars and workshops; we analyse the requirements of RF.S.R.5.17, and in our investment commentary we suggest that under current market conditions, a prudential balanced portfolio is the best choice for an investment horizon of 3 years and longer. Under ‘legal snippets’, we review an interesting judgment by SA Appeal Board of the FSB dealing with the adjudicator’s powers to refuse to register rules.

The topical articles from various media should not be overlooked – they are carefully selected for the value they add to the management of pension funds and the financial well-being of individuals...

...and make a point of reading what our clients say about us in the ‘Compliments’ section. It should give you a good appreciation of who and what we are!

As always, your comment is welcome, so open a new mail and drop us a note!


Tilman Friedrich

Message from our Managing Director

I owe the diverse RFS clientele, various business leaders, peers in the industry, even former school mates I have not heard from in many years and not to forget friends and family a big thank you for the overwhelming congratulatory messages regarding my appointment as RFS Managing Director.

Most of the messages served not just to congratulate and wish me well, but to also offer support and importantly give me a heads-up on the challenges lying ahead. I have had to state at times repeatedly in recent conversations that my career story is not even a bit as remarkable as the story of RFS, the business that was started from absolutely zero less than 20 years ago. I have been extremely fortunate to have been part of RFS from its early days and I credit the keen interest in my role at RFS to the exceptional business reputation RFS has earned in the market to date. It sounds exaggerated to state the fact that RFS is today the largest wholly Namibian owned pension fund administrator, managed locally, by local Namibians!

We are extremely fortunate to have Tilman who is still energetic, of good spirit and most importantly willing to remain involved to offer his technical advice, motivation and mentorship on the operational side of the business. I could not have hoped for anything better. The greatest achievement of RFS and Tilman is the quality and strength of the management team and staff that conceals some of the finest individuals that form part of in my view the best pension fund management team ever put together in our industry.

With the imminent complete overhaul of the pension fund laws and the changes in the regulatory environment, the pension fund industry but more specifically pension fund administrators, boards of trustees of pension funds and pension funds asset managers face extremely challenging times ahead. Yet, further reasons for concerns are created with the uncertainties and secrecy around the envisaged National Pension Fund law being pursued by the Social Security Commission. Probably more than ever before, our industry needs a vibrant body to earnestly represent the interests and concerns of the industry.

Tilman was recently reconfirmed to serve on the legal and regulatory committee of the Retirement Funds Institute of Namibia (RFIN). This is a direct benefit our clients and the industry at large are gaining from Tilman’s wealth of experience and expertise. I have myself also recently joined the board of RFIN once again, which I previously served as President 12 years ago. RFIN however has not received the required support it needs from especially pension fund boards. It is not enough to pay membership fees to an industry body like RFIN and then leave it to a handful of trustees and mostly representatives of service providers to fight the challenges the industry face with regulators. I can make the point on another day, but on my maiden contribution to the newsletter in my new role, my plea to pension fund trustees is to get involved in the activities and the running of RFIN if RFIN is to be taken seriously and be meaningful in our industry.

I look forward to serving firstly our clients, but also the industry at large as I have done for the past 17 years I have been with RFS.

Marthinuz FabianusMarthinuz Fabianus graduated from Namibian University of Science & Technology with a Diploma in Commerce and Bachelors in Business Management. He completed a senior management development programme at University of Stellenbosch and various short courses including a macro-economic policy course which he completed at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy. Marthinuz also serves as trustee on the board of the Benchmark Retirement Fund and is a member of the board of the Retirement Funds Institute of Namibia.

Tilman Friedrich's Industry Forum

Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance
to 31 July 2018

In July 2018 the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 0.15% (May 2018: 2.45%). Top performer is EMH Prescient (0.88%); while Allan Gray (-1.12%) takes the bottom spot. For the 3 month period, Stanlib takes top spot, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 1.15%. On the other end of the scale Namibia Asset Management underperformed the ‘average’ by 1.43%.

The prudential balanced portfolio – the best choice for an investment horizon of 3 years and longer

Graph 1.7

Graph 1.8

Graphs 1.7 and 1.8 above depict the 5 year and the 10 year returns of prudential balanced portfolios to the end of July 2018, as blue bars. An article by Patrick Cairns in Moneyweb of 8 August 2018, shows the SA top-performing world-wide flexible funds for these periods to the end of July 2018. The table below sets out a comparison between the SA and Namibian funds

Category Top fund: SA Top fund: Namibia Worst fund: SA Worst fund: Namiba


5-year performance: fund 12.92% 12.8% 9.65% 9.2%
5-year performance: category average 8.66% 10.3% 8.66% 10.3% 10.04%
10-year performance: fund 13.38% 12.7% 11.85% 10.3%
10-year performance: category average 9.39% 10.9% 9.39% 10.9% 10.77%

Interestingly, the Namibian funds have stood their own very well despite the fact that the SA universe of available funds is so much larger that the Namibian universe. The Namibian top performing fund was just slightly behind the top performing SA fund over 5 years and over 10 years. The worst performing Namibian fund outperformed the worst performing SA fund by nearly 2% per annum over the 5 year period as well as over the 10 year period. The Namibian category average also outperformed its SA equivalent over both periods. The JSE Allshare index returned a mere 1.7% above inflation over the 5 year period and 2.2% above inflation over the 10 year period. This is pedestrian performance indeed. Fortunately dividends of around 3% per annum contribute to total return on equities and raises the near zero real return to close to 5% over 5 years and just above 5% over 10 years. These returns are of course before portfolio management fees of around 0.75% on the typical pension fund portfolio. This would produce a real return after portfolio management fees of 4% over 5 year period and 4.5% over the 10 year period on the typical Namibian pension fund portfolio. In the wake of the financial crisis that slashed the SA Allshare by 33% from 27,720 in July 2008 down to 18,465, pension fund members should be quite comfortable with the investment returns they have earned.

Read part 6 of the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2018 to find out what our investment views are. Download it here...

Pension or provident fund, lump sums or pensions – where to from here?

Making adequate provision to retire with dignity is not so easy to achieve in the first instance, and there are a number of pitfalls that will prevent you from achieving this ideal - early withdrawal, poor investment returns, high management costs, too low basis for setting a contribution rate, too low contribution rates. Of course government doesn’t want end up bearing the responsibility for persons that have made inadequate provision for their retirement.

The proposed National Pension Fund is one policy measure government is considering in order to ascertain that all citizens will eventually have provided adequately to retire with dignity. Clearly there is serious and justified consideration how to go about this national objective. And it does not take much grey matter to appreciate that the approach must be two-pronged, one being to ascertain that everyone contributes adequately, the second one being to plug the holes in the system that cause leakages as we will deal with further on.
  • Currently, there is no legal requirement to preserve one’s capital upon resignation. The Income Tax Act encourages preservation by allowing retirement capital to be transferred to another approved fund, tax free but at the same time it allows you to withdraw a portion or all your capital within the first three years of resignation. This is only one leakage. The National Pension Fund envisages compulsory preservation but it is not in force.·         A much more serious leakage is the provision for provident funds in the Income Tax Act. These funds cannot pay pensions but only lump sums and oblige the employee to accept cash as the default arrangement. Obviously most employees are unlikely to reinvest the cash once in their possession. We question the existence of provident funds and believe SA has taken the right decision to enforce annuitisation at retirement meaning that fund members will be obliged to convert a portion of their retirement capital to an annuity. Under the FIM Bill, RF.S.5.18 also envisages compulsory preservation of a minimum of 75% of a member’s ‘minimum individual reserve’, often also referred to as member’s fund credit or share.
  • Often pension funds require the retiree to purchase a pension from another fund or insurer. Such transactions not only often expose the retiree to unscrupulous operators, but the retiree has to incur substantial costs. Trustees are also often overwhelmed by consultants talking them into unnecessarily complex structures that might serve the needs of a very small minority but come at a cost. Trustees often do not grasp the complexity of such complex structures nor do they appreciate the risks. The consultants often introduce such arrangements with their own agenda, such as selling house products and services and making themselves indispensable for the fund.
  • There are other less serious leakages which we will not cover now. The most serious leakages can and should be addressed by government through policy measures. The thought has been raised for the Income Tax Act to do away with provident funds. With regard to the National Pension Fund, it is still being contemplated whether or not any exemption will be granted to existing funds. It would appear likely that if any exemption were to be granted, it would be on the basis that the employee and employer contribution rate towards the fund is at least equal to that of the National Pension Fund (12%-14% of payroll?) and that benefits will primarily take the form of income rather than lump sum benefits.
Employers and trustees of course are free to pre-empt legislative measures to plug these leakages that are likely to be plugged through government policy measure sooner or later. In this light here is sound advice to employers until such time as the future of the National Pension Fund and of the Income Tax Act with regard to retirement provision has been cleared:
  • Rather offer a pension fund than a provident fund.
  • The pension fund should offer income benefits rather than lump sums in the event of death, disablement and, as a matter of course, in the event of retirement.
  • Be wary of converting your fund from pension fund to provident fund and to do away with income benefits.
  • Be wary of outsourcing pensioners if your fund is large enough to carry the liability for in service spouse’s and children’s pensions and post retirement pensioners.
  • Be wary of dissolving your investment reserve which is particularly useful for funds maintaining a pensioner pool.
  • Be wary of unnecessarily complex and expensive fund structures that may serve a small group of members only.
Once abandoned, it will be extremely difficult for any fund to reintroduce the previous arrangements.

Conferences, seminars, workshops – are they worth our while?

Most professional bodies nowadays require their members to obtain an annual score for continuing professional education. Many entrepreneurs have pounced on this business opportunity by offering conferences, seminars and workshops. I am sure not to be the only one totally irritated by the unsolicited calls one receives virtually daily and the flood of invites filling up one’s Inboxes. Worst of all is the fact that one receives numerous calls from different sales people for the same conference, who all drive a hard sale to boost their commission income.

The cost of these events is in many instances exorbitant, considering that one would typically pay as much for about 10 days’ conferencing as one would pay for a whole year university tuition, or more! Some organisers even have the audacity to cost their conference in one or other foreign currency! The programmes typically comprise of an array of speakers, wisely picked between a few experts and a string of people whose only purpose is to present themselves in all their glory and eloquence. Often these events are poorly organised, studded with sub-optimal speakers and poor attendance, and at times one may even get trapped by a fly-by-night who offers great early-bird discounts just never to be seen or heard again (speaking of experience)! But to be honest, what can you learn by listening to six or eight 45 minute talks throughout the course of a day, depending on how long the tea and lunch breaks are drawn out, even if it were the best possible speakers? It can only be but an appetizer here and there for topics one may want to delve into more deeply in a more dedicated manner.

Isn’t it time for this industry to become regulated? We love regulators so here is another opportunity for controlling an awful waste of resources.

New regulations and standards: comment on RF.S.5.17

In the second half of last year NAMFISA issued a number of new regulations and standards for comment. Although some comments were submitted these mostly did not address the substance of these but rather their form. Having considered these comments NAMFISA made some changes that we would consider superficial and not addressing the real concerns. Trustees are urged to pro-actively consider the possible implications of these regulations and standards and how to deal with these.  Funds are encouraged to liaise with RFS where these may impact the administration of the fund.

The following regulations and standards were issued and covered in the process:


  • RF.R.5.3  Terms & conditions on which a board may distribute some or all of an actuarial surplus
  • RF.R.5.7   The rate of interest payable on the value of a benefit or a right to a benefit  not transferred before the expiration of the applicable period pursuant to section 262(9)(c
  • RF.R.5.8   The protection of unpaid contributions of an employer and the rate of interest payable on contributions not transmitted or received pursuant to section 262 (9)(a) and (b).

The above regulations were covered in the Benchtest 2018-02 newsletter issued in February.


  • RF.S.5.11  Alternative forms for the  payment of pensions for the purposes of defined contributions funds
  • RF.S.5.12  The conditions pursuant to which a fund may be exempted from Chapter 5 or from any provisions of Chapter 5
  • RF.S.5.13  Requirements for a communication strategy
  • RF.S.5.14  Requirements for the annual report of the fund to its members
  • RF.S.5.15  Requirements for the annual report of a fund to NAMFISA
  • RF.S.5.17  Categories of persons having an interest in the compliance of a retirement fund with the provisions of section 262  and the requirements for reports that must be submitted to such persons
  • RF.S.5.18 Matters to be included in investment policy statement
  • RF.S.5.19  Matters to be communicated to members and contributing employers and minimum standards for such communication
  • RF.S.5.20 Matters to be included in a code of conduct
  • RF.S.5.22 Transfer of any business from a fund to another fund or from any other person to a fund
  • RF.S.5.23 Fees that may be charged for copies of certain docs

In the Benchtest 2018-03 newsletter we addressed RF.S.5.11.
In the Benchtest 2018-04 newsletter we addressed RF.S.5.12 and RF.S.5.13.
In the Benchtest 2018-05 newsletter we addressed RF.S.5.14 and RF.S.5.15.
In the Benchtest 2018-06 newsletter we addressed RF.S.5.18 and RF.S.5.19
In the Benchtest 2018-07 newsletter we addressed RF.S.5.20, RF.S.5.22 and RF.S.5.23

Categories of persons having an interest in the compliance of a retirement fund with the provisions of section 262  and the requirements for reports that must be submitted to such persons

This standard requires every pension fund to now report on a quarterly basis to members, pensioners, employers, labour unions, fund bankers, fund investment managers, fund actuary, fund auditor, NAMFISA, the Financial Intelligence Centre and “…any other party who may have a similar interest…” [to these parties]. This report is to be in a standard tabular form setting out extensive detail on contributions due and paid.

Tilman FriedrichTilman Friedrich is a qualified chartered accountant and a Namibian Certified Financial Planner ® practitioner, specialising in the pensions field. Tilman is co-founder, shareholder and Chairman of the RFS Board, and retired chairperson, and now trustee, of the Benchmark Retirement Fund.
Compliment from an SA Data Analyst

“Dear K
Thank you again for the opportunity to work with you on this project. First of all I would like to commend Retirement Fund Solutions on the quality of the data that was provided. In my 15 years in Asset Management I have never come across a data set that is in such good standing, it really is a testament to your business.”

Read more comments from our clients, here...
The Benchmark Retirement Fund - Flagship of umbrella funds in Namibia
By Paul-Gordon, /Guidao-Oab, Benchmark Product Manager

Annual report 2017/2018 reveals growth of 27%

As at 31 December 2016 the Benchmark Retirement Fund was the 4th largest fund in terms of assets and the 6th largest fund in terms of membership in Namibia, and that includes the ‘almighty’ GIPF!

By 31 December 2017 the Fund’s assets grew by a further 27% reaching N$ 2.7 billion while its membership increased by 16% to just over 10,000 members. This is a remarkable achievement considering that Benchmark was only established at the beginning of 2000 and its growth can primarily be ascribed to word of mouth marketing. The Benchmark Retirement Fund is a unique fund of Namibian origin that caters for just about any need with regard to retirement provision, be it for employees of very small groups, SME’s and even large funds whose trustees do not want to be sucked into the maelstrom of the FIM Act and all its standards and regulations, for retirees, and for their minor and adult dependents.

Download the annual report, here...

Paul-Gordon /Guidao-Oab joined RFS as Manager: Audit and Compliance in May 2016 and has then moved into the position of Benchmark Product Manager. Paul holds a B Compt degree from Unisa and has completed his articles with SGA.

News from RFS

Staff movements

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Monika von Flotow as Manager: Projects. Monika is a Namibian by birth and she matriculated at Deutsche Oberschule Windhoek. She started studying at the University of Stellenbosch after school and obtained a B.Com degree in management accounting in 1997. She worked in the finance department of Cape law firm, Cluver Markotter Inc, for 3 years before she joined PWC in Windhoek in the audit department. While employed by PWC she obtained an Honours degree in Accounting Science (UNISA 2004), a Post-graduate Diploma in Auditing (RAU 2005) and qualified as chartered accountant in 2007. She left PWC in 2010 to join the Development Bank. Monika also completed a number of other professional and managerial courses during her career while serving in various positions at PWC and DBN. We extend a hearty welcome to Monika and look forward to her bringing her expertise to bear on the services and products of RFS and the Benchmark Retirement Fund!

We are furthermore pleased to advise that Stefanus Morris rejoined the Benchmark team as client manager at the beginning of June after a short absence of 6 months to pursue an opportunity close to his heart, namely to serve his community through and NGO. This unfortunately did not turn out the way Stefanus had hoped. We are very happy to have him back serving a portfolio of Benchmark employers and look forward to having him around for many years to come!

Long service awards complement our business philosophy

RFS philosophy is that its business is primarily about people and only secondarily about technology. We know that as a small Namibia based organisation we cannot compete with large multinationals technology wise because of the economies of scale that global IT systems offer. To differentiate us we need to focus on personal service and on the persons delivering that service to get customer acceptance and service satisfaction. With this philosophy we have been successful in the market and to support this philosophy we place emphasis on staff retention and long service.

The following staff members recently celebrated a work anniversary at RFS. We express our sincere gratitude to these staff for their loyalty and support over so many years:

15 year service awards (in our 18 year history)
A total of 9 staff of our complement of 67 have passed this milestone.

10 year service awards
  • Aliza Prinsloo
  • Maria Teixeira
  • Agnes Brockerhoff
  • Anna Willemse
A total of 22 staff of our complement of 67 have passed this milestone.

5 year service awards
  • Giovanni van Wyk
A total of 38 staff of our complement of 67 have passed this milestone.

News from NAMFISA

NAMFISA investments exposed - correction

Our readers’ attention is drawn to the fact that the article from The Namibian in last month’s newsletter under this heading grossly overstated NAMIFSA’s total assets as being N$ 1.46 billion. NAMFISA’s annual report for the year ended 31 March 2017 in fact reflects its total assets as N$ 190 million, down from N$ 228 million the previous year.

Legal snippets

May the registrar refuse to register rules or amendment?

In this SA matter between Security Employees National Provident Fund (appellant) and the Registrar of Pension Funds and another fund for security personnel (new fund) as respondents, this question was considered by the Appeal Board of the Financial Services Board.

The precursor to this case was a determination by the Minister of Labour under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act that provides for the establishment of the new fund and to make membership of that fund a condition of employment for private security sector workers. As the result of this determination the appellant fund submitted amendments to employer special rules, firstly to make existing employers paid up who discontinued their contributions to participate in the new fund and, secondly, to make provision for compulsory membership and contributions by employees of any employer who chooses to continue active membership of the appellant fund.

The Registrar upon submission of the special rule amendments requested proof that those employers who chose to continue active membership had obtained exemption from participating in the new fund as is required in terms of the determination by the Minister of Labour. Appellant informed the Registrar that she did not have the legal power to refuse registration of the rule amendments on the basis of the information requested by the Registrar. Appellant argued that the Registrar had refused to register the amendments it submitted, even though the Registrar argued that she had merely requested additional information as she was entitled to in terms of the Act, and consequently referred the matter to the appeal board.

The appeal board dismissed the appeal with costs.

The following interesting conclusions can be drawn from the arguments presented in the matter by the parties and the appeal board:
  • Although appellant raised two matters namely the amendments to make members of exited employers paid up and the amendment of rules of actively participating employers to make membership and contributions compulsory and argued that the first type of amendments should at least have been registered, not being in contravention of the determination by the Minister of Labour, the appeal board did not consider the first matter as it was not part of the arguments submitted for consideration.
  • The SA Pension Funds Act was amended with the insertion of section 7 D that defines the duties of the board of trustees. In the context of this case, it specifically requires the board of trustees to ensure that the rules and the operation and administration of the fund comply with all other applicable laws. This does not apply to Namibia.
  • The SA Pension Funds Act was amended with the insertion of section 12(6) that empowers the registrar to request such additional information in respect of any rule amendment that he may deem necessary and such amendment will lapse if the required information is not provided within 180 days. This does not apply to Namibia.
  • Although the Pension Funds Act in section 12(4) requires that the registrar must register a rule amendment if it is not inconsistent with the PFA and is financially sound, the registrar cannot register an amendment if it contravenes a law of South Africa. The object of section 12(4) is to “…deny the registrar a general discretion and not to require of the registrar to register something that is unlawful in the broader sense of the term…” “The Act does not operate in a bubble of its own…”
  • In this case, the determination by the Minister of Labour that the new fund be established as a compulsory fund for security personnel is a legal requirement and hence the registrar was within her rights to require proof that the actively participating employers have been exempted from the statutory requirement to participate in the appellant.
  • Although the determination of the Minister of Labour does not prohibit an employer in the private security industry to also participate in another fund, the envisaged amendment of the special rules of the actively participating employers to provide for compulsory membership and contributions of their employees is a contravention of the determination by the Minister of Labour which requires the written consent by an employee for any deduction to be made from his salary as opposed to a compulsion to participate and to contribute.
Read the full judgment here...

Media snippets
(for stakeholders of the retirement funds industry)

Have balanced funds changed the mind of investors

“South African investors have had to deal with very muted returns for the better part of the last five years. Between July 1, 2013 and June 30 2018, the average return from unit trusts in the South Africa multi-asset high income category was just 8.2%.

This was a mere 2.8% ahead of inflation for this period. Given that these balanced funds would ordinarily be expected to produce returns of at least CPI + 5% over a five-year period, this is obviously disappointing.

What is notable, however, is that despite this situation investors have continued to favour these strategies. The latest statistics from the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) show that multi-asset high income funds continue to be the main savings vehicle for most people invested in local unit trusts…”

Interestingly, in Namibia, the average prudential balanced (multi asset) pension fund portfolio returned 10.9% nominal and 5.4% real, thus outperforming the SA equivalent unit trust by 2.6% per annum over a 5 year period!

Read article by Patrick Cairns in Moneyweb of 7 August 2018, here...

Security Sector Provident Fund defends trustees’ exorbitant fees

“...The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) accused the Private Security Sector Provident Fund of paying its trustees "exorbitant" fees.

In its court application the FSCA, formerly the Financial Services Board (FSB), said trustees’ fees had topped R25m a year, while total administration expenses had rocketed to R353.8m for the R6.23bn fund, equivalent to a staggering 5.6% of its total asset value….

Trustees were entitled to be paid R7,900 per board meeting and R5,768 per subcommittee meeting, but "neither of these rates conformed to the rates specified in the fund’s trustee remuneration and allowance policy", said the FSCA…

The FSCA also accused the trustees of being unable to justify their high rate of remuneration, "but tried to do so by indicating that the two section 26 trustees appointed by the registrar (out of a board of 12) were receiving over R500,000 a month…"

Read the article by Julietta Talevi in BusinessDay of 12 June 2018, here...

7 financial must haves for women in retirement

“Recent Statistics South Africa figures reveal that, on average, women outlive men by nearly a decade or 9.3 years. And this means that it is absolutely vital for women, if they haven’t already, to take an active role in managing their finances rather than relying on a spouse or partner, because they will need the skills at some point in their lives, says Citadel Advisory Partner Kerry King…

It’s crucial that you feel confident enough to do what needs to be done to ensure that your income will last your entire lifetime, and that you can enjoy your retirement years in comfort.”

Here are the 7 financial must haves for a woman in retirement:
  1. A budget
  2. Medical Aid
  3. An own bank account
  4. A slush fund or spending money
  5. A balanced investment portfolio
  6. An updated financial plan
  7. A professional wealth planner
Read the full article by Kerry King in FA News of 4 July 2018, here...

Media snippets
(for investors and business)

Fitness tips that are doing more harm than good

“Because there's so much conflicting health and fitness advice out there, we've outlined all of the biggest workout myths and misconceptions and countered them (where possible) with truth. Use this as a guide to get fit in the most efficient way possible…”
  1. Myth: Exercise doesn't help counter the negative effects of aging.
  2. Myth: A sluggish metabolism is the main reason you gain weight as you age.
  3. Myth: To stay in shape, you only need to work out once or twice a week.
  4. Myth: The best time to work out is first thing in the morning.
  5. Myth: Weight lifting turns fat into muscle.
  6. Myth: Puzzles and games are great workouts for your brain.
  7. Myth: Exercise is the best way to lose weight.
  8. Myth: Sit-ups are the quickest ticket to a 6-pack.
  9. Myth: Weight training is for men.
  10. Myth: It takes at least a couple weeks to get 'out of shape.'
  11. Myth: Running a marathon is the ideal way to get fit.
  12. Myth: Keeping a food diary is a reliable way of monitoring and controlling what you eat.
  13. Myth: Sports drinks are the best way to re-hydrate after a workout.
  14. Myth: Your BMI is an accurate way to size-up your overall health.
  15. Myth: You need to sweat for your exercise to count.
Read the full article by Erin Brodwin in Business Insider of 14 August, here...

How should 23-year-olds invest their money?

“…A budget tells your money where to go instead of you wondering where it disappeared to. It also tells you how much you need every month to live the lifestyle that you choose. This amount will guide you during the planning process.

Once you know what amount you need every month, the next step is to set up a reserve or emergency fund. The funds should be available on short notice as emergencies usually arrive without notice! The amount that you should have available in an emergency fund is three to six times the amount that you need according to the budget that you have set…You should therefore be able to hold sufficient funds in a reserve fund without having to pay tax thereon.

Once you have a reserve fund, you can start to invest. Tax-free savings accounts and retirement annuities are both excellent investment vehicles as both are exempt from income and capital gains tax on the investment returns earned…Contributions to a retirement annuity can be deducted from your taxable income… Because you are building wealth, you should also draft a will and get into the habit of reviewing it annually when you review your investment portfolio as personal and financial circumstances do change.”

Read the full article by Angélique Visser in Moneyweb of 31 July 2018, here...

Take note though that in Namibia the tax deductible maximum towards all retirement vehicles is N$ 40,000 p.a. while only interest on TB’s and certain Post Office savings are tax free but without any limit.

See the salary increases SA can expect - PWC

“The following rise in costs seen by the PwC report over the past nine years:
  1. Education has increased on average by 8.3% per annum,
  2. Electricity and fuels with a staggering 13.8% per annum and
  3. Food by 7.1% per annum.
This shows that South Africans are indeed becoming poorer each year as most salary increases have been CPI plus one or two percentage points in the same corresponding period, PwC said.

According to the PwC, around 560 participants in its REMchannel online salary database reported budgeted increases ranging from 0% to 10% for the next 12 months. Their online database contains more than 520 participating companies and 85% of these include the top 100 companies in South Africa.

The following results on salary increases were shown:
  1. 12% of the respondents in the survey reported an increase of less than 5%.
  2. Only 3% of respondents indicated that budgeted increases for the next 12 months exceed 6%...”
Read the full article in Marketwatch of 21 April 2018, here...

And finally...

Blackboard wisdom at a filling station

A  filling station has become quite a landmark in Gauteng, South Africa, with its daily #PetrolPumpWisdom, which are uplifting quotes written on a chalkboard. Some motorists say they deliberately travel this road just to read the quote which brightens their day. Here's one:

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