Skip to main content Skip to search

About RFIN

RFIN Profile

RFIN was established in 1997 with the aim of being an umbrella association of all the retirement funds in Namibia.

Retirement Funds Institute of Namibia (RFIN) is a company incorporated in terms of Section 21 of the Company Act No 28 of 2004, which is aimed at legitimately representing, promoting and advancing the interests of retirement funds industry in Namibia. RFIN represent the retirement funds industry in negotiations with government authorities on matters that affects the retirement funds, its members and all stakeholders.

RFIN was established in 1997 with the aim of being an umbrella association of all the retirement funds in Namibia. Retirement funds consist mainly of:

  • Pension Funds
  • Provident Funds
  • Retirement Annuity Funds
  • Preservation Funds

Since most retirement funds are dependent on their service providers, service providers are also considered as members of RFIN, thereby enabling RFIN to act as a collective voice addressing the needs of the entire retirement funds industry, and advancing the overall rights and interests of all its members.

Service providers to retirement funds consist mainly of:

  • Fund Administrators
  • Actuaries
  • Investment managers/ Asset managers
  • Benefit consultants

RFIN has been actively involved in setting out the key principles of retirement provision for all Namibians. These are: All segments of Namibian population need to be addressed by any retirement provision objective and policy;

  • Private sector participation in the process is vital;
  • Continuation of tax incentives to encourage saving for retirement;
  • A solid funding and financing system to ensure stability and certainty for the future;
  • Transparency and member involvement;
  • Preservation and saving of funds;
  • Investment of Funds to the contribution of the economic growth;
  • Contribution to legislation reform such as regulation 28, 29 and Financial Institutions Markets Bill
RFIN is a non-profit company, which adheres to strict formalities prescribed by the Companies Act. RFIN has a Constitution which governs the administrative function of RFIN. In terms of the Constitution its Board of Directors, which composes of representative members of RFIN perform the governance roles in line with industry best practice. The Board discharge its duties through various committees that are accountable for the administrative functions of the board.

2.1 The Constitution

RFIN has a Constitution that was adopted on 11 September 2003, and amended in August 2012 at the AGM. The Constitution sets out the legal function, status and governance of RFIN. RFIN operation must be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down under the Constitution.

2.2 The Board of Directors

RFIN’s Board consists of seven board of directors. In terms of article 18 of the RFIN Constitution, the board of directors shall consist of at least 7 persons. Such persons shall be elected from among Ordinary Members of the RFIN of which at least four Directors shall be a serving trustee of a board of trustees of any Namibian registered retirement fund, or it’s Registered Representative, provided that such trustee or Registered Representative shall not be employed by a service provider. Directors shall hold office until the conclusion of the third Annual General Meeting after their election, subject to the provisions of Section 19.
All nominations and election of candidates to the Board of Directors shall be as prescribed under the Constitution. An elected member of the board shall serve for a period of three years.

2.3 The Sub-Committees

The Board discharges its duties via the following committees:

  • Administration, Finance & Risk Committee
  • Strategy Committee
  • Marketing & Training Committee
  • Legislations & Compliance Committee

The committees perform any duties as delegated by the Board. The committees are accountable to the Board and all reporting shall be made to the Board. The committees have no decision making powers on issues of policy and governance of RFIN, they may only make recommendations to the Board. All the committees operate on a voluntary and non-remunerative basis and meetings are held on a monthly basis.

The committees serve the following functions:

2.3.1 Finance and Administration Committee

The objective of the Committee is to assist the Board of Directors to fulfil its corporate governance duties and overseeing responsibilities in relation to RFIN’s investment structures, financial reporting, internal control system, risk management system, administrative and finance function and internal and external audit functions.

The committee is currently chaired bySabrina Jacobs, with Justine Shipanga and Ndeendelao Kambala as members.

 

2.3.2 Marketing and Education Committee

The objective of the Marketing and Education Committee is to provide guidance to the board in positioning RFIN as the industry representative. This is to be achieved by:

  • Marketing and branding of RFIN and its industry role;
  • Facilitating the skills and training to the retirement funds industry;
  • Profiling the relevant training programs;
  • Developing communications strategies and channels.

The committee is chaired by Gerson Veundja Kamatuka, with Justine Shipanga and Arthur Kröhnert as members.

2.3.3 Legislations & Compliance Committee

The committee assists the Board of Directors to fulfil its corporate governance duties and overseeing responsibilities by contributing, discussing and influencing legislative and other matters that affect the retirement funds industry.

The committee is chaired by Ramon Hansen, with Gerson Veundja Kamatuka, Anna Mbandi and Tilman Friedrich as members.

2.3.4 Strategy Committee

The purpose of the Service Providers Committee is to pool knowledge and experience in a combined and equal effort from the service providers in view of imposing the relationship between the service providers and the retirement funds.

 

The committee is chaired by Sabrina Jacobs, with Marthinuz Fabianus and Gerson Veundja Kamatuka as members

 

 

2.3.5 Secretariat

The Operations Manager of RFIN is the appointed as a Secretary of all the committees.

2.4 Management

The operational matters of RFIN are conducted by the Operations Manager. The duty of the operations manager is to ensure that RFIN fulfils its mandates and add value to its members and the industry, which includes but not limited to:

  • Manage the day-to-day operation of RFIN;
  • Assist the Board in discharging its duties in terms of the Constitution;
  • Ensures proper implementation of that the decisions of the Board and decision taken at the AGM and business strategies are implemented.

The current operations manager as from 01 March 2013 is Ms Notburga Mathias.

3.1 Vision

The vision of RFIN is to be the collective voice of the retirement fund industry, by promoting and advancing the interests of retirement funds as envisaged in Act, therefore subsequently recognized by the relevant statutory authorities in Namibia as the official and sole

3.2 Mission

RFIN mission is to protect, advance and promote the interestsof the retirement funds industry throughout Namibia.

As at 31 December 2017, RFIN had a total of 65 members, which members had a total of 258 000 retirement fund members. This represents more than 90% of the retirement industry. Our members consist of Retirement Funds, Fund Administrators, Service Providers, Custodians, Asset Managers and Consultants.
5.1 Training Session

As per its Strategic Plan, RFIN conduct the trustee training sessions. The purpose of the trustee training is to educate member trustees on their duties and responsibilities to ensure that pension funds are managed in accordance with the applicable laws and principles of good governance as well as to ensure that trustees are fully aware of their fiduciary duties in the collection of member contributions, safeguarding and investment of assets as well as payment of benefits to their members.

RFIN had two trustee training sessions per year. The first training is usually a basic training for newly appointed trustees. The training aims to familiarise trustees with the pension fund laws and the responsibilities that ensure. The second training is at advanced level, which focuses more on administrative and financial responsibilities.

RFIN will endeavour formalise trustee training by applying for accreditation from the National Qualification Authority (NQA) on courses offered and to improve on quality of training. In addition, RFIN endeavours to extend its training focus to pension fund members to ensure that they understand their rights and obligations, and also appreciate the essence of a pension fund.

 

 

5.2 Information Session

RFIN host quarterly information breakfast sessions for its members. At these sessions, RFIN aims to explore and deliberate issues of concern that need sharing with the industry. At the information sessions RFIN invites its members and the general public to interact and discuss current matters. In Nov 2017, the information session discussed the taxation matters and its contribution to savings and administration efficiency. At the May 2018 information session, RFIN discussed the understanding of Regulation 28. At both session, RFIN invited industry representative and focussed discussion were held with its members.

5.3 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held annually. The purpose of the AGM is to provide RFINs members an opportunity to air their concern regarding the industry. In addition, the members are required to elect board of directors are elected at the AGM is to elect directors in case there are vacancies, to decide on matters for the year as well as note the financial and administration affairs for proceeding and current year.

5.4 Annual Conference

RFIN holds annual conferences aimed at mobilizing members on matters of mutual concern so as to forge a united front towards the development of the industry and to consistently mobilize the industry in the participation of issues of mutual interest. The annual conference is a platform for influential speakers in both the public and private sectors, and the industry to share views and encourage industry stakeholders to make a concerted effort in addressing social-economic issues concerning retirement funds.

The themes of the past annual conferences were:

2015 – 9thRetirement Funds searching keys for economic headway

  • The perspective on the current status on implementation of regulation 28 & 29 and challenges for unlisted investment managers, special purpose vehicles and retirement funds;
  • Private Equity;
  • Reviewing of Pension Fund Reform in Southern African countries and the world;
  • Effective corporate governance issues relating to Pension Funds;
  • Most critical investment risks that face pension funds and mitigation of those risks;
  • Pension Funds Responsible Investments;
  • Relationship management and perspective on the oversight role of the regulators and governments;
  • Inclusion of the informal sector of the economy in the share for retirement saving;
  • Pension Funds Complaints;
  • Pension Funds clean data.

 

2016– 10th Retirement Funds Contribution to Economic Growth in Namibia

  • Minister of Finance presented the government policy on retirement funds
  • Compulsory preservation legislation
  • Development of the retirement funds industry since independence
  • Panel discussion – The evolution of Namibian retirement funds industry
  • Development of the financial markets in Namibia
  • How can retirement funds contribute to economic growth in Namibia
  • Improvement of income provision for retirement  and contribution to economic welfare
  • The discussion of the impact of the NPF to market development – A case study – Social Security Commission
  • Panel discussion – Social economic impact of retirement funds

2017 – 11thContemporary developments in the local retirement funds industry”

 

  • Geopolitics and its impact on investments in retirement funds
  • Retirement Funds Legislation Reform: Unpacking the FIM Bill and Regulation 28 & 29
  • Promoting universal pension fund coverage: The role of the National Pension Fund
  • Panel discussion: Understanding practical implementation of the NPF
  • The features and characteristics of an efficient 21st century pension fund administrator
  • Member Default Functions: A new paradigm in retirement Planning
  • Infrastructure funds as an alternative for Namibian pension funds and how Namibia compares with global allocations to alternatives
  • Unlocking opportunities presented by the Public Private Partnership Act: The role of Pension Funds
  • Pension funds contributions to economic development and growth through infrastructure funding
  • Panel Discussion: Public Private Partnerships: Opportunities for Pension Funds
  • Sustainability and efficiency models of pension funds in Namibia: A global comparative perspective
  • Namibian local assets requirement and its impact on the industry
  • The value and role of Board Committees in Retirement Funds Governance
  • The impact of sovereign rating downgrades on Pension Funds’ investment performance

The annual conference also provides an opportunity to the service providers to exhibit, market and network with the industry. Sponsors of the conference receive an opportunity for company and products branding on the conference venue as well as the conference documents.

5.5 Research

RFIN envisage the possibility of conducting research from time to time, and as deemed necessary on complex or emerging industry matters. RFIN conducts research with the aim of meeting the needs of its members and the retirement funds industry on matter that they encounter in their respective areas of operations. RFIN conducts research and source assistance of professionals in various industries.

Currently the anticipated research is:

  • The risks faced by pension funds in their provision of security/guarantees for their members’ pension backed home loans;
  • Whether Namibian pension funds that invest in South Africa lose a portion of their dividends due to the application of the dividends taxin South Africa.
6.1 Newsletter

The newsletter is a valuable communication tool which RFIN publishes on a quarterly basis. The information in the newsletter aims to update members and serve as reading material on matters relevant to the retirement funds industry. The information is researched from credible sources and serves as good reference in the business of retirement funds and the service providers.

6.2 Website

Members can click on www.rfin.com.na to access the website.

RFIN represents the retirement funds industry in negotiations with government authorities on matters that affects retirement funds and its members. This involves regular engagement with authorities and government, RFIN has identified the following stakeholders:

  • Ministry of Finance (MOF)
  • Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authorities (NAMFISA)
  • Social Security Commission (SSC)
  • Members
  • Service Providers

RFIN consults with stakeholders to enhance relationships and understand the industry’s needs pertaining to matters of legislation and industry concerns.

8.1 Key Achievements to date

It is beneficial to be a member of the association to give contribution to the industry in a combined and well-structured manner. Member Funds have accessibility to service providers and vice versa. Information is well dispersed and members have access thereto. Training and support of members is offered. It is an international standard for an industry that fosters the benefit of the economy to be cohesive and organised by contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the region.

 

 

The key achievements of RFIN are:

  • RFIN has strengthened its relationship with NAMFISA. As testimony to this, the two parties have agreed to establish regular industry consultative meetings. Furthermore, the parties have executed a joint project on updating industry data on trustees and principal officers. This signifies that RFIN has finally been recognised as an industry representative by the regulator on industry level.
  • At a national level, RFIN retained its strategic partnership with BON, NAMFISA and MOF on national projects such as:
    • The Namibia Financial Sector Strategy steered by the Hon Prime Minister and Governor of the Bank of Namibia; and
    • The Financial Literacy Initiative steered by the Ministry of Finance;
    • RFIN joined the stakeholders’ forum for the implementation of the NDP IV steered by the National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance;
  • Participated in promulgation of the Financial Intelligence Act 13 of 2012;
  • Contributed towards the development on the Draft FIM Bill and Regulation 27, 28 and 29;
  • Information session and training for trustees.

The key performance area has been identified for the benefit of the members and the industry. RFIN now has human resources capacity and continue to get financial resources from our members to carry on its noble task. Over the years RFIN received national, regional and international recognition as industry representative. RFIN therefore looks forward in fostering relationship that aim to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of the Namibian people. With participation of all partners and stakeholders, RFIN can achieve more and ensure a safety in retirement savings, investments and socio-economic growth.