ENSafrica has a substantial retirement funds practice which spans multiple areas of retirement fund specialisations. These include transactional, regulatory, dispute resolution, employment law and employee benefits, tax, exchange control and forensics.

Our specialist retirement funds team provides commercially-minded, outcomes-driven services in the rapidly evolving South African and international retirement fund landscape to both private and public sector retirement funds, employers, trustees and service providers.

We have acted for many of the major South African retirement funds, including the Mines 1970 Unclaimed Benefits Preservation Pension Fund and the Mines 1970 Unclaimed Benefits Preservation Provident Fund, the National Tertiary Retirement Fund, the Telkom Retirement Fund, the Engineering Industries Pension Fund and the Metal Industries Provident Fund, the Exxaro Pension Fund, the ArcelorMittal South Africa Pension Fund, and the Transnet Retirement Fund.

We have also acted for employers of major South African retirement funds, such as the Amplats Group Provident Fund, the Masakhane Provident Fund, the Alexander Forbes Retirement Fund and the Old Mutual SuperFund Pension Fund.

As Africa’s largest law firm, we have the unique advantage of being able to partner with more than 600 of our colleagues across the continent, with specialist expertise in all commercial areas of law, tax, forensics and IP. We are therefore able to assist you quickly and seamlessly with all aspects of your matter, regardless of your business sectors and jurisdictions.

We have well-established capabilities in South African law, English law, French law and OHADA law. We frequently assist local retirement funds in negotiating and implementing investment arrangements in offshore jurisdictions and we assist service providers in structuring and implementing investment arrangements that comply with various regulatory regimes on the African continent.

represents notable pension funds and investment organisations
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what we offer

We provide advice on the full spectrum of retirement funds matters, including:

  • structuring, drafting and negotiating investments, including:
    • investments in liability-driven investments or cash-flow matching transactions
    • public or listed offerings
    • collective investment schemes
    • hedge funds
    • life policies
    • debt instruments
    • derivatives, including commercial aspects of using derivatives to hedge interest rate risk and other market risks
    • private equity funds
    • securities lending arrangements
  • defence and settlement of class actions
  • regulatory opinion work
  • broad-ranging risk mitigation and insurance
  • asset management and investment consultant arrangements and support (including investment mandates and arrangements applicable to transferring funds from one asset manager to another)
  • corporate governance (including constitutional documents of retirement funds, advising on fund administration and fiduciary responsibilities, assisting with transactional arrangements, including problematic arrangements with service providers, and forensic audits)
  • acting in dispute resolution proceedings (including before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, independent mediators and arbitrations, the Office of the Pension Fund Adjudicator, the Financial Sector Tribunal and the courts) and advising on employment contracts and employee benefits
  • representing clients to the Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Exchange Control Division of the South African Reserve Bank
  • commercial and legal aspects relevant to actuarial practice
  • advising retirement funds on:
    • outsourcings (including negotiation thereof)
    • tax and exchange control implications of investments
    • transfer of member assets and liabilities from one fund to another and the dissolution and deregistration of existing funds
    • practical operation of surplus distribution issues
    • COVID-19 pandemic implications on retirement fund contributions and rule amendments
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Class action
Defence of Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transport Pension Fund in a novel and precedent-setting class action and the settlement thereof.
Off-shore property fund
Advice provided to certain South African registered retirement funds in relation to their investments in an offshore property fund, including in relation to complex cross-border considerations.
Tax and regulatory
Provision of tax and regulatory advice to two unclaimed benefits preservation fund clients, as well as advice in relation to litigious matters, investment review work and drafting of fund rules, policy documents and sub-committee terms.
Liability-driven investments
Liability-driven investments with two South African banks by The Transport Pension Fund in the form of a swap and bond structure.
State capture recovery
ZAR630-million settlement for the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund as a result of the largest single recovery to date of the proceeds of state capture-related activities.
Hedging transaction
Hedging transaction by Standard Bank Employees Pension Fund.
Implementation of ZAR12-billion immunisation / cash flow matching strategy for the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund, involving a systematic liquidation of an equity portfolio, the purchase of a bond portfolio and a tender for and the implementation of a number of immunisation transactions with numerous banks.
Life annuities and annuity strategies
Purchase of life annuities from insurers by various pension funds, as part of pension fund outsourcing transactions and the implementation of various pension funds’ default annuity strategies and negotiation of applicable agreements with service providers.
PE, property and infrastructure funds
Negotiation of various pension funds’ investments in commitment-based private equity, property and infrastructure funds.
COVID-19 pandemic
Provision of advice to participating employers and retirement funds on the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic’s lockdown provisions on retirement fund contributions and rule amendments.
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