Retirement fund capabilities
GTC operates the 6th largest commercial umbrella retirement fund in South Africa as well as various stand-alone retirement funds, catering for some 350 companies with over 100 000 members
Services include administration, fund accounting, consulting, investment management, counselling, financial planning and trustee reporting. GTC has consistently been awarded the PMR Diamond Award and has been nominated by them as the highest scoring retirement fund provider in the category between 100 000 and 150 000 members.
Benefit consultants are responsible for the smooth operations of a retirement fund. They will engage with trustees, management boards and other senior decision makers within a company. They are responsible for reporting on legal and regulatory changes, they are responsible for liaising with the administrators and ensuring that members are engaged with, in accordance with regulation and the service levels committed to with the company. They will work closely with the consultants who are responsible for the member engagement as well as other integrated service providers such as healthcare and payroll.
The people involved in the administration of your retirement fund constitute the “engine room” of the retirement fund. It is their responsibility to ensure that every member’s contribution is paid each month, that this contribution is apportioned accurately to each of the risk underwriters and each of the elected asset managers. This team will engage with you at each milestone which requires a revision or a change of your contribution. They work closely with the benefit consultants, the member consultants and the various other service providers to the retirement fund.
Investment analytics and administration
Distinct from the retirement fund administration, is the important function of administering the fund’s investments so that each member receives the correct number of accurately apportioned units in the different, elected portfolios. It is their responsibility to manage cash flows, pay exiting members, invest incoming member’s transferred benefits and report on the investment performance of the aggregated selection of underlying portfolios.
There are over 50 different asset management companies, investing in South Africa (even before we include foreign managers), running some 4000 registered unit trusts, together with all of the life insurance based portfolios, as well as any number of independent private constructed portfolios. It is a complex and significant undertaking to make sense of these different offerings and to present them in a discernible and intelligible fashion so that this information can be used to make investment decisions. GTC’s investment analytics team performs this function, guiding and assisting investment decision makers.
Risk benefit consulting
Risk benefits is the collective term of various insurances that the members of a particular retirement fund participate in. Purchased from a licenced and accredited underwriter, these insurance benefits are usually determined by the decision makers of a particular company sponsored retirement fund.
Advising a company of the most appropriate underwriter, together with the most appropriate construction of the product for each of the elected areas of insurance (and this could cover anything from children’s education, to temporary disability, to highly specialised insurance such as aviation licences) is a highly specialised area of expertise. This skillset usually resides within the benefit consulting team. Once implemented, it is the job of the fund administrators and the benefit consultants to ensure the ongoing management of this insurance which will have considered tax efficiency, regulatory compliance and cost-effectiveness.
A modern retirement fund is more than the structured pension funds of the past. Today’s retirement fund design is significantly guided by the requirements of the member. It is the cornerstone of a much larger and more integrated career driven platform for wealth creation. Incorporated in Altertude is our member driven TrueNorth financial wellness platform which links and reports on personalised individual member savings strategies, and voluntary discretionary additional investments, savings and insurances.
Recent legislation has made this integration a reality. It is no longer a requirement that a member exit a fund when they leave a company’s employment. Whilst this investment journey has become more streamlined and integrated, it is a highly complex undertaking. Professional financial assistance is almost always needed. GTC’s RunwayEdge provides the capacity for member consultants to become involved, alongside their colleagues in the benefit consulting and fund administration arena.
Very often managed separately from the old-fashioned retirement fund methodology, healthcare is actually an integral and vitally important employee benefit that should be concurrently managed, reported on and financially considered as a component of the employee benefits within a company sponsored retirement fund.
Advice and consulting in this dynamic and ever-changing field should be far more than the postman requirements of the medical aid consultant of old. Understanding the differences in benefits, the actuarial basis of financial reserves and premium calculation, are important considerations when electing and staying with a medical aid provider.
This highly specialised employee benefit offering requires professional technical understanding. Appointing the appropriate healthcare consultant will ensure that this significant financial spend is managed effectively.
The personnel within the Member Advice Portal Support (MAPS) team are all experienced planners, each of whom has the unique additional discipline of being knowledgeable about Altertude.
Altertude is the client engagement interface which combines all of GTC’s various products and services for the benefit of each fund member and is facilitated by a team of professional, accredited financial advisors within GTC.The MAPS team members are specifically trained in, and are knowledgeable about your retirement fund rules, group risk and tax structure, including the specific dispensation that applies to the in-fund options (which are not known, and cannot be accessed by independent financial advisors).
Most team members have extensive retirement fund benefit consulting experience too. All of them are uniquely positioned to provide the single point of unified financial advice that GTC so strongly advocates, merging a client’s retirement fund benefits with the personalised planning that will always be unique to each investor.
Within the MAPS team there are specialists in all sectors that make up a holistic financial wellness programme. These disciplines include retirement funds, discretionary investing, risk, short-term insurance, wills, estate planning and tax. True North, GTC’s technology based financial wellness toolkit is the cornerstone of this complex interface. It is your choice as to whether to use this on your own or to engage with a MAPS consultant in the pursuit of your financial wellness.