Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a pension?

A pension is a stream of income that is paid usually when one attains retirement, but it can also be paid to a child till they are no longer children. Widows and widowers may also receive a pension on a death of a spouse

What is a Pension scheme?

Is an arrangement under which persons are entitled to benefits upon retirement or upon death or termination of employment or upon the occurrence of such events as specified in law or the document establishing a pension scheme

Are their different types of pension scheme design?

Yes a pension scheme can be designed as a defined benefit scheme (DB) or defined contribution (DC) or a hybrid. A defined benefit scheme is a pension scheme where the retirement benefit payable is based on a pre determined formula. While a defined contribution scheme is a pension scheme where contributions into the scheme are pre determined implying that the benefit is uncertain as it will depend on accumulated contributions and investment earnings. A hybrid combines the features of a DB and DC.

Why contribute to a pension scheme?

The main reason for a pension scheme is to save for retirement, but as a social protection instrument a pension scheme also offers benefits when one loses employment as a result of ill health, death or just wishes to take up other activities.

Viewing one’s life from a life perspective you see that one’s saving opportunities are at peak when in employment, therefore part of the excess income (surplus over consumption of members’ household) is deferred or postponed to retirement through a pension scheme. Pensionable employment also provides for job security as it gives you certainty that you have a job over a long period in excess of 20 years.

How does a pension scheme work?

A pension scheme has two stages namely accumulation and de-accumulation stage. During the accumulation stage contributions from members are paid into the fund (scheme) and these monies are invested. While during the de-accumulation stage the individual starts receiving a pension and the fund value starts declining.

Who manages the pension scheme?

The Board of Trustees are the one with the management and control function of the scheme, however trustees appoint fund managers, administrators or qualified individuals to perform the duties of a fund manager and administrator.

Who is a Trustee?

Trustees have the main responsibility for the administration of funded occupational pension schemes and compliance with the requirements that apply to these schemes.

Who is the Fund Manager?

A fund manager is a company that has a duty of investing funds of the scheme on behalf of the Trustees. They place, monitor and call off investments on instruction from the trustees.

Who is a Fund Administrator?

An administrator is the one who does the administration part of the scheme by paying out benefits, keeping scheme records and organising meetings for the Trustees.

Where are pension funds invested?

Pension funds are invested in various instruments like Government bonds, corporate bonds, property, fixed deposits, cash deposits, etc

Can one use pension benefits as collateral?

Currently a member of a private pension scheme cannot pledge as collateral his or her accrued pension benefits because the law prohibits assignments of pension benefits as security. In other setups it is possible to assign benefits

How secure are pension investments?

Trustees and their agents (fund manager and administrator) are required by law to ensure that investments are only made in secure and profitable investments. Therefore if the trustees follow the law pension investments are secure.

Can someone below 18 years be a member of a pension scheme

Yes in some pension schemes are recipients of child pension. A child pension is paid to a child until they attain a certain age 18 or 21 in cases where they are still in school.

How do I know if my parents are in pensionable employment?

Pension schemes give their members’ handbooks or members’ cards, so they need to show you the card

What jobs are in the pension industry?

The pension industry can be a very big industry in certain countries assets under management as in excess of Gross Domestic Product (Value of goods and services produced in an economy). Therefore numerous jobs are available, in our market opportunities exist for Accountants, statisticians, Investment analysts, lawyers, customer relations, Actuaries etc