If an employer chooses to provide retirement benefits for its employees through an umbrella fund it should have certain statutory duties, a leading pension lawyer suggests. Speaking at the recent annual conference of the Pension Lawyers Association in Sandton, Jonathan Mort, a former chairman of the association and a member of the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association, said employers should do due diligence on an umbrella fund before transferring employees’ savings into the fund and should review that due diligence annually. Employers should also check the systems of the administrator, review the costs and how reasonable they are and ensure there is proper oversight of the fund in line with guidance from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), he says. Umbrella funds are intended to provide a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to each employer having their own retirement fund — employees belong to their employer’s sub-fund under a single umbr...

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