The Fund’s communications is centred on the members. The objective towards communications and education is to support, develop and skill our members and pensioners. The Fund is one of a few Pension funds in South Africa to link with the regulator (Financial Services Board) to educate and develop members about the importance of investing and saving. The Fund has also implemented ground breaking projects to promote better choices and understanding for members.
Pension Funds Adjudicator
The purpose of the Pension Funds Adjudicator is to resolve disputes in a procedurally fair, economical and expeditious manner. The adjudicator’s office investigates and determines complaints of abuse of power, maladministration, disputes of fact or law and employer dereliction of duty in respect of pension funds.
During September 2015, the Fund conducted Human Resource and Payroll officers training workshops at the NJMPF offices in Westville, Durban.
The workshops included speakers from reputable institutions like the Financial Services Boards (FSB) and representatives from the Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator (OPFA). The representatives of the OPFA during the workshops gave an introduction to the OPFA and what they do as well as matters pertaining to Withdrawal Benefits.
The Financial Services Board (FSB) is the regulator of the Retirement Industry and is the statutory body to which the Fund reports in terms of the Pension Funds Act. The Fund and the FSB conducted a value added project in 2014 and 2015 on financial literacy. The goal of the Fund and the FSB financial literacy programme is to provide a comprehensive package whereby the Fund and FSB ensures that members’ financial capabilities are enhanced in the area of financial control, financial planning, financial choice and financial knowledge. This allows better money management, reduction in debt levels amongst municipal employees and also promotes members to implement simple and achievable programmes which will assist them to move closer to financial wellness. Surveys collected and collated during and after the training and education show positive feedback.
The Fund in 2015 collaborated with J Leslie Smith & Company Inc. (the Fund’s legal advisors); to educate members of the Fund on the importance of creating Wills because the Fund believes that Wills are an important part of financial planning. This programme provides members with access to create Wills for free. Having a Will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a Will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like your assets handled after you have passed on. The levels of Unclaimed Benefits in pension funds in South Africa also highlight the importance for people to have Wills.
A step forward for the Fund in 2015 has been the link with Absa Trust to provide education on financial matters to caregivers/guardians of beneficiaries. The Fund makes it a priority to ensure that communication is not only done whilst a person is still active but also continue and extend education to beneficiaries and guardians. On the 20th of May 2015, the Fund together with Absa Trust conducted a roadshow for caregivers and guardians of beneficiaries. Feedback received by the Fund, via information collected through a survey revealed that the Fund, once again exceeded all expectations.