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Training Manual



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The Fundamentals of Retirement Funds Trusteeship is a specialized program for retirement fund officials which provides specific competency to successfully undertake the responsibility of the role of Trustee or Principal Officer, allowing for the fulfillment of the Fit and Proper Guidelines, 2014.

Program convener: Zethu Nkala-Shongwe: 7977 5948, zethu@fiduciaryts.com


Upon completion of this course participants should be able to-

  1. Understand the basics of retirement funds. This includes different types of funds, differentiating funding methods, basic risk benefit concepts and cost management strategies for retirement funds.
  2. Understand the roles and responsibilities of the different parties to retirement funds. This includes legislative requirements related to compliance, retirement fund governance issues and the proper management of retirement funds.
  3. Have an appreciation of the key elements of developing retirement fund risk management, investment strategy and other policies and procedures.
  4. Apply basic concepts of Section 33 of the Retirement Funds Act (RFA), 2005
  5. Understand responsibilities of Trustees pertaining to investments including basic investment concepts.

Admission Requirements

Junior certificate or equivalent in line with the Fit and Proper Guidelines, 2014. Candidates with prior work experience and learning will be recognized.

Admission to Examination

  • Examinations will be conducted at the end of each module or at the end of the program
  • Students will be admitted to examination if they have attended at least 80% of lectures or have read study material (for the online class) of the lectures in that specific module and have attempted 80% of the online assessments.
  • Have made all tuition fee payments in full and provided proof of payment

The Fundamentals of Retirement Funds is a comprehensive program which consists of (4) Modules and 22 units, as presented below:

Module I : Introduction to Retirement Funds

Unit 1

Purpose and origins of retirement funds

Unit 2

Parties to a retirement fund

Unit 3

Funding methods

Unit 4

Types of retirement funds

Unit 5

The different funding methods of pension funds - defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC)

Unit 6

Types of risk benefits


Module 2: Duties of Trustees and Governance Issues

Unit 7

The legal standing of retirement funds including fiduciary duties of fund officials

Unit 8

Understanding the role of a Trustee and the Principal Officer

Unit 9

What legislation and rules require of Trustees

Unit 10

Governance Structures

Unit 11

Developing and good governance structures

Unit 12

Dispute Resolution

Module 3:  Section 33-  Death benefits

Unit 13

Primary objective of Section 33

Unit 14

Duty to identify dependants and nominees of deceased members

Unit 15

The Duty to effect equitable distribution

Unit 16

Distribution Mechanism

Module 4: Introduction to Investments

Unit 17

Trustees’ responsibilities regarding investments

Unit 18

Types of Asset Classes

Unit 19

Risk and Return Trade-off

Unit 20

Trustee investment decisions and processes

Unit 21

Volatility, Diversification and Asset Allocation explained

Unit 22

Investment strategy guidelines

For more information contact the Program Conveyor (details provided above).