Retirement Fund Capabilities

GTC operates South Africa’s sixth largest commercial umbrella fund as well as providing services to a number of stand-alone retirement funds.

Consulting

Fund Administration

Investment Administration

Risk Benefits

Healthcare Consulting

Consulting services

Benefit design and advice

  • The review of the general benefit structure of the Special Rules of the Participating Employer and related benefits, ensuring that the objectives of the stake holders, including but not limited to the Employer, Participating Employer Forum, Trustees (herein after collectively referred to as the Employer) and Members are met. 
  • Managing the structure and cost of the Insured Benefits provided by the Fund and/or the Employer and where appropriate, review the design, costs and insurer involved, and make recommendations from time to time.
  • Advising members on the options available to them when they join the Fund and whilst being a member of the Fund. 
  • Formulating a communication strategy with the Employer including member presentations.
  • Providing general advice to the Employer as may be deemed to be necessary from time to time.
  • Undertaking the secretarial function for the Employer, including maintenance of the register, minutes and minute book.
  • Advising the Employer on the structure of the scheme and its membership.
  • Providing the Employer with such information bulletins, surveys and other literature as is topical and issued as-and-when, where necessary, and discussing the implications of the contents thereof. 

Technical services

  • Registering any Special Rules of Employer and ensuring that these are approved by the authorities, providing any recommendations and/or draft amendments to alter such Special Rules as may be deemed to be appropriate. 
  • Advising the Employer of any changes, both legislative and pending, in Retirement Fund, Social Security and Income Tax legislation which may have an effect on the Fund and Employee Benefits.
  • Ensuring that insurance, investment and other contracts issued to the Fund and/or the Employer are in place.
  • Providing general technical advice, assisting in obtaining legal opinions on matters relating to the Fund and related benefits.
  • Assisting the Employer with the management of death, disability, funeral and severe illness claims and providing recommendations when required.  
  • Advising the Employer or Member of member medical requirements and underwriting decisions and assisting members in interpreting and understanding the requirements and ensuring that the process is completed.
  • Advising the Employer of annual risk benefit renewal terms and premium rates. 
  • Consulting on developments and options and if required, sourcing alternative proposals.

Investments

  • Assisting the Employer in the interpretation and understanding of investment matters.
  • Advising on the appropriateness of the Employer’s current investment philosophy and objectives.
  • Assisting the Employer in understanding the investment strategy required to achieve the investment objectives that is appropriate to the membership profile of the Fund.
  • Assisting in the adopting of a formal Investment Policy Statement.
  • Assisting in the selection of appropriate investment portfolio/s.
  • Monitoring and evaluating investment performance.
  • Providing regular investment reports as and when required and at each Employer meeting.
  • Providing regular market updates to the Employer.
  • Providing in-fund product for members wishing to avail themselves of continued participation in the fund on a paid-up basis or through the election of one of the annuity options. 
  • Providing investment portfolio options for in-fund products aligned with those of active members, in respect of construction and pricing.

Administrative control and support

  • Monitoring the submission of the monthly payroll information submitted to the Administrator by the Employer and reporting any non-compliance to the Employer.
  • Ensuring that the monthly Fund contributions are paid and invested within the required time frames and reporting any non-compliance to the Employer.
  • Assisting in the resolution of any administration problems that may arise from time to time and monitoring the payment of claims within the Service Level Commitment time frames.
  • Following up on progress of any benefit claims on behalf of the Employer to the Administrators and reporting back accordingly.
  • Reviewing any administration reports provided by the Administrator and arranging for the presentation thereof at Employer meetings.
  • Reviewing any cash flow statements (or other financial reports) provided by the Administrator and arranging for the presentation thereof at Employer meetings.
  • Ensuring that the administrator updates the administration system appropriately for changes in benefits and costs flowing from renewals and underwriting decisions.

Participating Employer Forum Meetings (Employer meetings)

  • Arranging with the Employer to hold at least one meeting per annum. 
  • Preparing and presenting a comprehensive meeting pack for each member of the Employer. The meeting packs will include the agenda, previous minutes, matters arising, member guides, administration reports, administration service commitment, consulting commitment, investment material and reports, risk benefit renewals and legal and technical matters.
  • Ensuring that the meeting is coordinated, the agenda pack is prepared and distributed, the meeting is minuted, minutes are circulated, filed and stored with all action items then attended to.

Communication and education

  • Liaising with the Employer to address the ongoing routine management of the Fund.
  • Communicating with members, the Employer and other third parties.
  • Following-up on reminders, as necessary, to any person or organisation where information or a decision is outstanding.
  • Corresponding with members and other third parties relating to transfer payments into and out of the Fund.
  • Conducting member presentations.
  • Conducting member financial education presentations and seminars.
  • Providing benefit counselling through a series of automated applications and thereafter in person.
  • Providing financial advice subsequent to the counselling process.
  • Ensuring that annual member benefit statements, member guides and nomination of beneficiary forms are issued to the Employer for distribution to the members.
  • Arranging internet access to members on request.
  • Providing regular investment and portfolio updates to the Employer for distribution to members.
  • Ensuring a copy of the Special Rules and General Rules is available for inspection to any member and the last annual financial statements are prepared in terms of subsection (1) of Section 15 of the Act.
  • Attending to ad-hoc requests from Members or third parties falling outside the scope of the Administrator.
  • Addressing reasonable requests emanating from Employer meetings.
  • Providing True North, GTC’s bespoke advanced financial needs analysis programme to all members with the prerequisite training.

Disability claims

  • Forwarding the required disability application documentation to the insurer, no later than five working days from date of receipt of the completed claim documentation from the Employer.
  • Ensuring that disability income benefit payments are paid directly to the Employer by the underwriter, or in special cases, directly to the disabled employee. Liaising with the underwriter to ensure that claims are processed promptly.
  • Ensuring that the Employer is notified of any reassessment requirements timeously so as to ensure no delay in ongoing disability payments.

Benefit statements

  • Ensuring that benefit statements are produced and circulated timeously in accordance with the requirements of the Employer. 
  • Ensuring the completion of the circulated beneficiary nomination forms. 
  • Ensuring that members have access to the fund member guide. 

Rule amendments

  • Submitting rules and/or amendment applications to the relevant authorised bodies for registration within 30 days of the effective date.

True North – Financial Analysis Tool

  • Providing members with access and training to the integrated financial analysis programme – True North. 
  • Recognising that retirement fund administration and consulting should not be conducted as separate capabilities from a members’ overall financial planning, True North automatically is pre-populated with all relevant information as required for the retirement fund. 
  • Combining the information from the retirement fund, a fund member is encouraged to populate the additional facets of the technology driven platform, with the following additional features:
    – A personal Income Statement
    – A personal Balance Sheet
    – Determine specific financial objectives and goals
    – Ascertain tax consequences of specific investments
  • The member is able to simulate various real life scenarios to realistically and objectively understand his financial position at any future date.
  • The member is able to add goals such as holidays, university fees and retirement, as well as plan for the disposal of assets and the budgeting and understanding of the achievability of these goals, illustrated within True North on a simple gamified dashboard. 
  • The member is able to store their financial records on the online vault.
  • The member can contact or use a financial advisor as part of the planning process.
  • The member can obtain a comprehensive review of the actual state of their life-plan including the tax impact, the estate duty impact and net-asset-value computations at any point in time.
  • The scenario tool allows the member to simulate real life changes and assess the impact of these changes on the planning tool.
  • The life-plan provides for the ongoing dynamic management of a members’ financial and lifestyle needs.  
  • The life-plan as documented by True North considers all the real needs of a member and does not focus on any single outcome. 
  • This tool is substantially more than the conventional “replacement ratio” calculator engine that most retirement funds provide. 

Lift Off – Member counselling

  • In compliance with Section 36 of the Pension Fund Act, GTC has developed fully automated and integrated counselling for members. 
  • Through an automated messaging service, all members that are required to be counselled in accordance with legislation, receive a series of messages, animated videos and diagrams, informing them of their options. 
  • Members are required to electronically confirm receipt of these various counselling messages, all of which is recorded in perpetuity, meeting the specific requirements of counselling verification as required by the legislation. 
  • Counselling beyond the electronic interface is provided by GTC through the direct communication of individual counsellors and/or accredited financial advisors without these members being required to pay for this advice or being compelled to adopt any specific financial outcome. 
  • Trustees and EMPLOYER’s are assured that the regulatory requirements placed on them are complied with.

Fund administration

Member Liability Record Keeping

  • Utilising the Everest administration system provided by the software provider EBSphere, GTC provides a state of the art fund administration system which is fully transparent, has a proven track record in South Africa and abroad, facilitates comprehensive member liability management with full fund accounting capabilities.
  • Using bespoke internally built software, GTC uses a process management system workflow which integrates directly into the Everest software together with a business intelligence management module (Qlikview).
  • Through this configurable module, Workflow incorporates segregation rules that are applied on a client, a role and a functional basis.
  • Matching the required resource skills into working groups, Workflow manages – on a daily basis – the workload, resource availability, client needs and business priorities. Workflow records all transactions and activity on a real time basis with au authentication reference numbers.
  • Incorporated into Workflow is a full record keeping and authentication process, ensuring that proper segregation of duties and resultant compliance thereof is recorded in perpetuity.
  • Utilising a business intelligence management system Qlikview the ongoing monitoring of governance and risk management protocols and related service levels agreements is managed on a real-time basis with dashboards and visual graphics of these activities.
  • Various components of these dashboards are available to the payroll and HR departments of the Employer.
  • Notwithstanding the availability of real-time reporting to the Employer, reports are provided for all Employer meetings as well as monthly management meetings.
  • Trustee meeting reports & ad hoc reports
  • Numerous additional reports are available and conventionally submitted to the Employer, including:
    – Cash-flow
    – Asset register
    – Contribution receipting and deductions
    – Membership reconciliation
    – Membership statistics
    – Withdrawal analysis
    – Pensioners
    – Death claim
    – Disability claim
    – Claims finalised
    – Pensioner payments
    – Unclaimed benefits
    – Paid-up benefits
    – Members within 5 (five) years of retirement
    – Web hits
  • Using Qlikview, the above reports in a dashboard format, may be extracted on demand.

Monthly reporting

  • The reports available to the Employer is also available to the selected administration staff of the Employer.

Fund accounting

  • GTC provides full fund accounting services. The administration system has a fully integrated financial accounting function, ensuring that information does not need to be manually transposed into an accounting package.
  • Member records are updated automatically once the contribution upload has been completed and member benefit statements can be produced timeously and accurately from within the system.
  • In-house accountants prepare the draft Annual Financial Statements for audit. GTC’s fund accountants are on hand to field any queries raised by the auditor during the audit process.

Payroll interface

  • Utilising bespoke GTC integration software – Unicore – an HR and payroll reconciliation solution is provided to all Employer’s. This software ensures the ultimate streamlining of the contribution collection process, further enhancing the accuracy of record keeping, reducing the number of billing queries and improving service levels.
  • Unicore, creates an electronic interface between a client’s payroll system and the Everest administration system, facilitating direct contribution reconciliation. This, password controlled, process allows Employer-appointed operators to make payroll data available for import into the member benefit administration system.
  • Online exception reports highlight any data inconsistencies which can be resolved immediately. This process eliminates the risk associated with the manual manipulation of data files and avoids human error.
  • Once the payroll interface file is received, and verified, the contribution collection process is automatically triggered for authorisation and payment by the Employer.

Member benefit statements, member packs & certificates

  • Benefit statements are issued at least annually. The Fund may elect to have statements e-mailed (with secure coding) to members. This is GTC’s preferred form of communication.
  • Member packs, designed in consultation with the Employer is provided to all new members.
  • Membership certificates are provided to paid-up members.

Pensioner payments

  • GTC services monthly (or annually if required) pensioner payments together with the accompanying tax administration. Tax certificates are provided to all pensioners.

Web Portal & Member App

  • The web portal and member App, available through both IOS and Android, provides the following functionality: – Each member will be provided with a unique username and password to access the GTC EB website (www.gtc-eb.co.za) and will be able to: – view and print benefit statements – view the history of pensionable and risk salaries and monthly contributions – view single premiums of benefits transferred from previous funds – update their group life nomination of beneficiary details – view communication from the trustees, administrator and investment managers.

HR Portal

  • Access can be provided to the appointed personnel (usually HR/Payroll) of the Employer’s to view membership information for the members of the Employer.
  • These staff will be able to track the status of any withdrawal claims and obtain payment letters from the system once the withdrawal of a member has been processed. This facility will be activated on request.

Investment administration

  • Settlement of all security transactions
    – Instructing custodians
    – Tracking all outstanding settlements
  • Corporate actions
    – Instructing custodians
    – Tracking all outstanding entitlements
    – Notification of elective events
  • Full portfolio record keeping
    – Trade based recording of all security transactions
    – Matching of trades
    – Fee, corporate action and expense accruals
    – Interest accruals on all bonds, money market, deposit and other cash accounts
    – Cash and security reconciliations
  • Independent valuation of portfolio’s – intra-day or close of business
    – Daily price downloads from I-net Bridge, Bloomberg and BESA
    – Price verification, primary source against secondary source to ensure accuracy of data
    – Price movement check – Previous day to current day
    – Reference pricing of instruments where not official closing price
    – Accrued interest method of valuation for money market CIS funds
    – Daily mark to market for derivatives
  • Portfolio reporting – tailored to client requirements
    – Daily report pack
    – Monthly report pack
  • Investment reporting
    – Portfolio mandates
    – Regulation 28

Risk benefits

  • Risk benefits are regularly re-broked in consultation with the Employer.
  • Assisting Employers to determine the appropriate type of risk benefits to be provided to employees.
  • Designing benefit structures that meets the needs of the Employer and employees, including flexible benefits, member choice, top-up cover, tax cover, age-related scaled benefit etc.
  • Conducting cost and benefit comparative analysis at regular intervals in consultation with the Employer.
  • Industry benchmarking.
  • Managing costs relative to Employer expectations.
  • Analysing the claims experience.
  • Installation of the risk benefits.
  • Liaising with insurers on technical matters.
  • Liaising with off-shore insurers on international pooling schemes.
  • Assisting Employers in the management of disability claims.
  • Assisting Employers with the process of medical underwriting of members.
  • Assisting with the investigation and management of approved death benefits in terms of the Pension Funds Act.
  • Assisting the Employer in dealing with technical issues raised by members, potential claimants, claimants and dependants.

Healthcare Consulting

    • GTC provides the Employer with managed healthcare consulting solutions.
    • Specific capability within healthcare consulting include medical aids, top-up/gap cover, primary care solutions and employee assistance programmes.
    • GTC publishes an annual comprehensive review and report of the healthcare industry entitled Medical Aid Survey. This publication tackling macro overviews as reported by the Council for Medical Schemes, as well as micro reviews of plan types and premiums.
    • This survey is valued as an industry leading resource by company executives, individual medical schemes, as well as our corporate and individual clients.
    • GTC undertakes an annual review of the Employer’s scheme relative to what the company requirements are, taking into account the categories of cover, benefit levels relative to family size, past usage patterns, and future cover requirements. This undertaking may include surveying the members to confirm benefit levels, premium requirements and limitations. Entry level primary care staff are included in our review, as are top-up/gap additional cover.
    • After conducting the annual review of the medical aid, GTC consultants are available to consult with any member in need of guidance.
    • A strategic review of the company’s healthcare policy, specialising in the development of a broader corporate healthcare policy and vision, employee communication, implementation of plans, employee, executive and corporate wellness, international travel benefits, extended travel benefits and participatory wellness days, is undertaken.
    • Healthcare implementation is undertaken with GTC consultants providing either a group or one-on-one meetings either in person or electronically.
    • In collaboration with the selected medical aid, GTC consultants will assist with absenteeism and disability management, HIV/AIDS workplace solutions, chronic disease management, on-site clinics, occupational and primary healthcare and clinic audits.
    • Through GTC consultants, training academies covering topics such as disease management; financial wellness and women-focused training sessions are available. 
    • Service expectations of both parties are negotiated and committed to Service Level Agreements and are tracked through GTC’s Workflow practice management tool.

    Top up/Gap cover for those costs which are not paid by your medical aid

    • Integral to Healthcare Consulting is the advising and scoping of top-up/gap cover for members, ensuring that this is complimentary to the medical aid.