Geraldine Fowler, Chairperson, Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA)
These were the key questions the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa needed to ask when commissioning a snap survey on the subject of retirement reform to determine ongoing support for its members and relevant content for its September conference in Cape Town.
According to IRFA Chairperson Geraldine Fowler, “as our theme this year is Making it Happen, and as the sector has seen and continues to experience significant regulatory and policy changes, as a leading industry body we need to support the retirement industry with the right tools and information to facilitate these changes. Hence we conducted a snap survey amongst key sectorial decision makers to determine the nature of any perceived challenges to sectorial transformation.”
Fowler says that the survey has been rigorously analysed across all relevant demographic variables (such as nature of involvement, fund size, respondent role, etc) and addresses challenges pertinent to specific changes, laws and regulations as well as identifying opportunities as the sector moves forward.
Key variables in determining the research brief according to Fowler have been “what needs to be done to make it better, to make it work and to get the implementation right? And how do we make sure that the role players are talking to one another, supporting one another and as always, ultimately, doing all of this to the benefit of retirement fund members in general, and for society at large?”
Crosshead: In overview
Sharing some topline findings, Fowler notes that administrative and information challenges top the list, notably perceived information flow from regulatory and legislative bodies.
Crosshead: Perceived challenges, both experienced and foreseen, in terms of the implementation of current and pending regulatory and legislative changes
Fowler notes that the survey has drilled down to specific legislation to ascertain the granular detail. “This will mean that we will be able to really focus in terms of content, advocacy and knowledge sharing. We will be able to place the correct emphasis and engage the relevant subject matter experts to provide guidance in the areas which need it most.”
In addition to the quantitative batteries, the survey methodology also allowed for qualitative input. This has been focussed on solutions as well as challenges, illustrating a willingness to embrace and implement change concludes Fowler. “We have shared just a taste of the findings in this article, delegates attending our conference as well as our webinars and information sessions will be exposed to the true value of the study.”