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The Trustees of Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund are concerned about the continued publications attributed to the Trustees in the Daily Nation Newspaper. trustees-press-release
logos   PRESS RELEASE   Lusaka, 22 February 2018   Status of Saturnia Regna Pension Fund (the Fund)   Joint Statement from African Life Financial Services (Zambia) Limited (Aflife, the Fund Managers) and Benefits Consulting Services Limited (Bencon, the Fund Administrators), collectively the Fund Service Providers.   Aflife and Bencon, the Fund Managers and Fund Administrators respectively of Saturnia Regna Pensions Fund wish to assure members and stakeholders of the Fund that its assets are safe and fully accounted for. Further, the assets are invested in line within the Fund Trustees’ approved policies based on the provisions of the Pension Scheme Regulation Act (PSRA) and the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA), the regulator. Since the inception of the Fund in 1992, international audit firms have audited its accounts annually and its current auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have given an unqualified audit opinion and certified that the Financial Statements of the Fund as at 31st December 2016 fairly represented the financial position of the Fund. Owing to press accusations of irregular practices, during 2017 the Fund was also subjected to an independent audit as directed by the Ministry of Finance through the PIA. The independent audit was conducted by KPMG, an international audit firm and the report has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance. The report findings will be tabled for discussion at the Fund Members’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, 28th February 2018 as arranged under the guidance and authority of the PIA. It is against this background that the PIA has directed the Fund and Bencon to reconvene the AGM as soon as possible and this decision was made in the best interest of the Fund and its Members. Therefore, Bencon has followed due process and already sent the relevant notices and invitations to all Participating Employers and Members. It should be noted that the AGM has twice been postponed and the last postponement in 2017 was to allow for an independent audit of the Fund. Further, Bencon wishes to state that the 2017 management accounts have been concluded and are awaiting the appointment of external auditors at the forthcoming AGM, after which the audited financial statements for 2017 will be finalised. The AGM is therefore crucial in normalising the activities of the Fund. It is important and critical that the AGM, which is the highest body in the governance of the Fund and its Members and Participating Employers receive these reports from the auditors and deliberate on them and consequently make all the necessary resolutions based on the findings. Bencon and Aflife are working to ensure that the AGM is held on schedule and in line with the directive of the PIA and the Fund Trust Deed. Over the past one year, we have noted publication of unsubstantiated allegations against the Fund and the Service Providers, in the Daily Nation newspaper. Despite our rebuttals against these allegations through our lawyers and through a joint press statement by the two Service Providers in June 2017, this particular newspaper has continued with publication of these allegations. In the recent publications, we have also noted attempts by the Daily Nation Newspaper to discredit the independent audit report that has not yet even been released by the Ministry of Finance. We also note that most of these articles purport the Fund Trustees as their source but the Saturnia Regna Fund Board of Trustees during August 2017 wrote through their lawyers to the Daily Nation Newspaper and also released a Press Statement denying that they were indeed the source as quoted by this newspaper. Throughout the subsequent period, the Service Providers have opted to remain silent and let due process be followed as directed by both the parent ministry and the regulatory authorities and not to dignify the unsubstantiated allegations by responding to them. It was important for the independent auditors to carry out their assignment without the undue influence of our comments and responses to the allegations. We have fully cooperated with the relevant parties involved in the exercise as we all believe that such actions are in the best interest of the Members as the ultimate beneficiaries. The objective of the Service Providers has always been to maintain the stability and growth of the Fund, and to ensure that it operates in line with the provisions of the Trust Deed and those of the Pensions Scheme Regulation Act. We wish to reiterate that all the operations of Saturnia Regna Pension Fund are still under the regulation and oversight of the PIA, as well as other supervisory bodies and that the assets of the Fund and Member records remain safe and sound.       Signed:                                            Geoffrey Musekiwa  (Aflife Chief Executive Officer)                                                                                              Bryson Hamanzuka  (Bencon Chief Executive Officer) For further information contact:   Geoffrey Musekiwa, Chief Executive Officer, African Life Financial Services Zambia Limited (geoff@aflife.co.zm) | 0211 254841, ext. 244 | 0965 433168 and; Bryson Hamanzuka, Chief Executive Officer, Benefits Consulting Services (hamanzukab@bencon.co.zm) | 0211 254517, ext. 209 | 0977 791500

Status of Pensions Industry in Zambia

pia The Pensions and Insurance Authority wishes to update the public on the status of the pensions industry in Zambia. The pensions industry has remained stable and over the past five years, the net pension’s assets have increased from K3.6billion to K5.9billion with a total membership of 109,734 as at 31st December 2016. Currently, we have 242 registered pension schemes managed by various registered Fund Managers and Administrators. Over the last few weeks media articles have been circulating on Saturnia Regna Pension Fund regarding various issues which the Authority brought out during an inspection of the Fund. The report was sent to the Trustees of the fund for implementation of the recommendations from the Authority. With regards to the court cases, the Authority has been actively monitoring the two court matters between the Trustees of the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund and service providers namely Benefits Consulting Services Limited and African Life Fund Services Limited. The first matter was between the Trustees and African Life Financial Services Zambia Limited under cause No 2016/HP/ARB No. 0011 and related to the composition of the Board and contractual services. This matter has since been discontinued. The claim under the second matter is identical to the first court matter except that the action was commenced by Mr Hantuba Munakupya against Saturnia Regna Pension Fund and the Trustees and is under cause No. 2017/HPC/ARB No. 0067. Under this matter the applicant Mr Hantuba had obtained an interim injunction dated 16th February 2017 which rendered it impossible for the scheme and trustees from carrying out any business of the scheme. Prior to the grant of the said Injunction Order the Fund was scheduled to hold an AGM at which forum new trustees were scheduled to be voted into office but this could not be held on account of the injunction. The injunction was subsequently discharged on the 3rd May 2017 and this has now paved way for the holding of the AGM. In our view the holding of the AGM and election of new Trustees will normalise the composition of the Board of Trustees and attendant matters. To prepare for the AGM the Authority convened a joint meeting between the Trustees and Benefits Consulting Services Limited on the 26th May 2017. During the meeting, the Authority after deliberation directed that the AGM be held on or before the 14th July 2017 and that Trustees whose mandate has expired be allowed to operate until the AGM so as not to create a vacuum between now and the AGM. Further, the Authority wishes to inform the public that off shore investment of pension funds, which have also been a subject in the media articles, is not illegal but is subject to ministerial approval. All investments are done to enhance value of the members’ accrued benefits via diversification of the investment portifolio with the approval of the Trustees. The Authority further wishes to state that industry is guided by Investment Guidelines and any scheme that does not adhere to the guidelines is dealt with accordingly. The public may wish to know that one of the statutory duties of the Pension and Insurance Authority (PIA) is to ensure that there is stability in the industry. The Authority undertakes inspections of all schemes to establish their financial soundness and compliance to the attendant legislation. From the assessments done so far, the pensions industry is stable and members’ accrued benefits are safe. Further, the Minister of Finance, Honourable Felix Mutati has since directed the Pensions and Authority (PIA) to appoint an independent auditor to verify the matters regarding the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund. The Audit will be undertaken within the next 30 days. Martin Libinga Registrar Pensions and Insurance Authority