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retirement funds

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represents notable pension funds and investment organisations
Chambers Global

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 a number of 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.

ENSafrica is recognised by top ranking agencies for achieving consistently high standards when working on the continent.

Our key differentiator is that, as Africa’s largest law firm with over 600 specialist practitioners, ENSafrica has the capacity to deliver on your business requirements across all major industries and the continent. We are able to leverage our resources to suit your pricing preferences and deliver within your timeframes.

To support you wherever you choose to do business in Africa, we have practitioners who are qualified and registered to practise English law and French law, and we have extensive experience in the legal codes of OHADA used in West and Central Africa. 

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 across Africa.

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 transition 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, service provider arrangements 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 Funds Adjudicator, the Financial Sector Tribunal and the courts) and advising on employment contracts and employee benefits
  • Representing clients on engagement with 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
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic implications on retirement fund contributions and rule amendments

experience

Class action
Defence of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and the Transport Pension Fund in a novel and precedent-setting class action and the settlement thereof.
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.
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.
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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s lockdown provisions on retirement fund contributions and rule amendments for participating employers and retirement funds.
Offshore property fund
Investments in an offshore property fund by South African registered retirement funds, in the context of complex cross-border considerations.
Liability-driven investments
The implementation of cash flow transactions by a number of substantial retirement funds – matching and liability-driven investment strategies, including by awarding liability-driven investment mandates to asset managers and utilising swaps and over-the-counter derivatives.
Hedging transaction
Hedging against interest rate and equity market risk by numerous retirement funds, including by the utilisation of interest rate swaps and over-the-counter derivatives.
Investments in funds
Negotiation of various pension funds’ investments in commitment-based private equity, private debt, property and infrastructure funds.
Participating employers
Retirement fund strategies of a participating employer group across a number of key retirement funds, including regarding the transfer of assets and liabilities in respect of active members from an existing provident fund to a prominent Type A umbrella fund, in the context of certain trustee/employer disputes.