Forget prescribed assets. They’re a diversion from the potentially solid proposal now on the table that seeks a social compact through retirement funds, representing millions of South Africans’ long-term interests, for investment in growth and employment-generating infrastructure projects.

The introduction of prescribed assets would have been the government’s blunt instrument to force a proportion of retirement fund assets into the dark holes of virtually unaccountable state expenditure. The state would have been raiding pension assets while simultaneously, and in contrast, urging retirement provision...

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