Our dedicated team of specialists keeps abreast of all legislative changes affecting the retirement fund industry. The team assesses and interprets the impact of legislative changes and updates the fund rules accordingly. The team is also supported by a large network of Sanlam legal and drafting specialists.
We have a dedicated team of specialists who keep abreast of all legislative changes affecting the retirement fund industry.
This includes changes to the applicable acts, industry circulars and notes, court judgments, adjudicator determinations and guidance from the Registrar of Pension Funds. The team is also responsible for assessing and interpreting the impact of these legislative changes and updating the fund rules accordingly.
The fund rules team is supported by a much larger network of Sanlam legal and drafting specialists. Apart from offering a second layer of retirement fund legal expertise, these legal advisers specialise in all ancillary aspects of the law, including tax law, labour law and the law of contract. The team maintains an updated set of ‘master rules’, used as the blueprint for all drafting work. This helps to ensure that all drafting is consistent, accurate and up to date with the latest legislative developments. We frequently revisit the method we use to draft the rules themselves. We constantly look for ways to improve, like making the rules more user friendly,by using plain language and simple, logical explanations.
Sometimes fund rules may fall behind the latest legislative developments and retirement fund practices. If these are not attended to, it can lead to ambiguities which end up causing problems for boards of trustees and members alike.
Further issues can arise, because the Registrar of Pension Funds prescribes that a set of fund rules may have a maximum of only ten amendments at a time. After this, the rules and the amendments must be
consolidated into a new version. As part of our drafting service, Sanlam Employee Benefits can assess your fund rules, align them with the latest legal developments and retirement fund practices, then consolidate the rules and amendments into a revised version.
Closely associated with rule drafting is the task of arranging for registration and approval of fund rules and rule amendments by the relevant authorities in terms of the Pension Funds Act and the Income Tax Act, respectively.
We handle all of this, including dealing with any questions raised by the Registrar. The importance of getting this right is not to be under-estimated. This is because in terms of the Pension Funds Act, unregistered provisions may not be implemented for administration – known as the ‘no admin prior to registration’ principle.
The interpretation of provisions contained in rules and rule amendments is another function related to rule drafting. It also involves handling queries around the interpretation of the rules.