The annual Institute of Retirement Funds Conference was held in Durban Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th of August 2014.
The conference opened with speakers discussing economic trends and the impact on the economy, social security and welfare programs. Speakers highlighted the growth of African economies and opportunities in Africa as those economies were growing at a faster rate than the South African market.
Concerns were raised over the disintermediation of the employer. Anne Cabot-Alletzhauser from Alexander Forbes Benefits Barometer argued that financial education has failed so far and the employer is the first place to engage employees around financial literacy. She explained that with the lack of social security provision by state, that social protection has been outsourced to the financial services industry.
Speakers also touched on a variety of reform subjects including explicit and implicit costs of retirement reform, the use of index funds, mandatory preservation and mandatory contributions.
The first Breakaway sessions covered topics such as S37 of the Pension Funds Act, infrastructure investments and the use of Living Annuities. The day wrapped up with further breakaway sessions on retirement reform toolkit for trustees, death claim processing and an open session with the judging panel for Best Practice Industry Awards.