ITS started in early 2007 but has existed since 2004, albeit it as a different legal entity. ITS’s consulting team is one the most experienced in South Africa, with a verifiable track record of competence. ITS is independent, objective and experienced in providing the employee benefits services. For this reason we believe we are ideally placed to support clients with their employee benefits requirements.
Our services include benefit, investment and legal consulting services. At ITS we provide our clients with independent advice on several aspects, ranging from the choice of a retirement fund administrator, umbrella and standalone funds, appropriate investments and investment managers, governance, benefit structure, benefit distribution, responses to the adjudicator, legal questions related to retirement funds and many other. ITS have more than 50 years of joint experience in providing these services ranging from funds with a membership of less than 20 to tens of thousands. We maintain a thorough investment consulting model and sophisticated techniques which assist in making informed decisions about retirement funding investments.
Independent Trustee Services
The appointment of an independent trustee with the necessary skills and experience will add immense value to the functioning of any retirement fund or medical aid fund. An independent trustee is entirely independent of any of the other stakeholders in the fund. The significance of this is that this person only has the fund to account to and will serve in the best interest of the fund. ITS provides an independent trustee service to these classes of funds. The appointment of an independent trustee will offer a vast amount of experience and general employee benefits knowledge to the fund and will have the advantage of a strong support team that is available to the fund.
Independent Principal Officer Services
Principal Officers currently have to be skilled and appropriately qualified to provide services to funds. ITS employs two Chartered Executive Principal Officers. Other ITS employees are currently completing their apprenticeship to be able to provide the service to our clients going forward. There has in the past been a lack of management of retirement funds, ignorance of the law (and duties), dependence on service providers, non-compliance, and apathy. The Principal Officer plays a pivotal role in ensuring the compliance of the fund with the Pension Funds Act and the relevant regulations. This is done by adhering to the fund’s strategy, managing or executing the Board’s decisions, and ensuring that statutory and governance matters are up to date. The Principal Officers task is thus to run the business of the fund and to implement the policies and strategies adopted by the Board.
Independent Compliance Monitoring
In the past, many retirement funds adopted the minimum standards approach to governance. This has changed and many funds now appreciate the benefits of good governance and regularly consider their compliance and how they can improve on this. ITS offers a service whereby we review all the fund documents, statutory requirements and do a detailed analysis as to how the fund’s compliance can be improved to comply with current legislation. The compliance investigation will depend on the needs of the fund/client but will include inter alia an in-depth investigation into the rules of the fund, the service level agreements and disclosures provided by service providers, fund procedures, inspection of fund data and financial management.
Independent Trustee Training
Boards of trustees have incredible responsibilities yet sometimes lack the knowledge and expertise required to fulfil their obligations. Independent Trustee Services offers independent training to Boards of Trustees and Management Committees structured according to client needs or standardised according to market norms. Training concentrates on Retirement Funds and Trustees, covering the structure of a retirement fund, different fund types, industry role-players, benefits payable and trustees’ duties and responsibilities. Training can also be provided on various topics, for example: on fund documents, benefit structures, legal matters, death benefit distribution, fund regulation, meetings, financial statements, investments and governance. The length of training depends on the subjects required to be covered and the time available. Training needs will be determined in consultation with the fund.