Sanlam Employee Benefits secured the rights to the Manual on SA Retirement Funds and is making it available to all business associates and stakeholders free of charge. This investment in improving financial literacy in the country is aimed at preparing and empowering the next generation of trustees, principal officers and fund administrators.

The 2018 edition of this publication is now available to all Sanlam Stakeholders who are registered on any of the Employee Benefit’s online portals (register for online access and/or downloaded the “My Retirement” app).

“Initially we made the Manual available to all Wealthsmiths™ as a reference work and for training purposes with very positive results, as you can see from the positive reviews received from the head of the fund secretariat of the Sanlam Umbrella Fund,” says Dawie de Villiers, CEO: SEB. “We are now in a position to make the manual available, free of charge, to retirement fund trustees, principal officers and intermediaries who have access to the Sanlam Employee Benefits online portals – including employers who participate in the Sanlam Umbrella Fund or other fund under Sanlam’s administration, their HR and finance officers as well as their fund members.”

These stakeholders are able to access the manual electronically via their computer and/or smartphone. For those who are doing research or are preparing for an examination, access to the website via their Pc’s will probably be best. But everyone will benefit from being able get a quick confirmation or explanation of the wording of a section in the act on their smartphone while in a meeting or at the boardroom table, Dawie says.

The Manual on SA Retirement Funds is the most comprehensive summary and explanation of the relevant provisions of the Pension Funds Act, Income Tax Act and other significant acts, directives, codes and requirements that apply to retirement funds. It’s currently in its 24th edition and is prescribed or recommended reading for many industry courses and qualifications.

The 1 000-page manual was authored by Kobus Hanekom, Principal Officer of the Sanlam Umbrella Fund, who served as Head of Strategy Governance and Compliance at Simeka Consultants and Actuaries for many years. The bulk of the 2018 edition was updated by lawyers in Sanlam’s various legal services departments.  The chapter on the Pension Funds Act has been updated by Anton Swanepoel, Head of SEB legal services for the past 15 years.

“We’re extremely proud of our education track record in the retirement fund industry,” Dawie says. ‘Financial literacy is critically important in South Africa and this project will help ensure that we prepare and empower the next generation of trustees, principal officers and fund administrators. A next phase that we will announce soon is focussed directly on the education of the members of the funds we administer. In addition, an arrangement between LexisNexis, Batseta and Sanlam will allow all South Africans free access to the manual, for the purposes of sitting for the trustee and PO qualifications. We’ll monitor the effectiveness of these contributions and review it again in a few years.”