The government is unlikely to force retirement funds to plough money into specific companies or projects, an industry body of fund managers and insurers says.

Of the economic plans under discussion to revive SA’s economy, none are calling for prescribed assets to be used as a solution, the Association for Savings and Investments SA (Asisa) CEO Leon Campher said.

The governing ANC has said previously it would investigate forcing retirement funds to help fund social development, but the idea has been strongly opposed by investors. Since then, the National Treasury has shunned proposals to instruct pension funds on where to invest.

Asisa’s members have urged the government to instead provide the industry with bankable projects.

“Retirement funds would consider investing in well-structured viable infrastructure projects,” Campher said. “This should not be confused with pumping money into state-owned enterprises.”

While the government may still be considering ways to expand a regulation in the Pension Fund Act to ease barriers to infrastructure investment, this does not amount to prescription and is also not necessary, Campher said.

“Asisa is of the view that the current regulation 28 provisions do not prevent increased investment in infrastructure,” he said.


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