Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many problems throughout the world, I am pleased to report that through the swift action of your Employer eThekwini Municipality, they have managed to restrict the impact of Covid-19 on the health of our members.
Even though many industries have had to retrench members, put members on short time and reduce contributions to pension funds due to the financial strain caused by Covid-19 on those companies, the Municipality did not implement any of these measures. Considering the negative impact that Covid-19 has had all over the world, the initial impact of Covid-19 was for most investments, that had exposure to growth assets and even normally safer assets, to decline drastically in the first quarter of 2020 which is when the financial shock was being experienced the most.
However, the investment markets had recovered most of these losses in the second quarter. Taking into account the events that have unfolded, the resulting approximate flat returns for the year ended 30 June 2020 on most of the fund’s portfolios was a good result. Again, those members who did not panic and switch out of the default investment portfolios would have noticed the recovery in the value of their fund credits. The investment markets since 30 June 2020 to the end of October 2020 have recovered further, reinforcing the idea of sticking to the long-term plan by staying calm and staying the course.
Covid-19 has also resulted in the Front Office cancelling the planned seminars that many of you look forward to, however we are hopeful that we will be in a position to continue with the fund’s annual seminars next year to ensure that you are kept up to date.
The Front Office would like to inform members that we are here to assist you with any queries or information you require regarding your KZN Municipal Pension Fund.
As trustees, we’re required to spend a significant amount of time performing our duties, attending meetings, training sessions and industry conferences to attain skills that allow us to make better decisions for our members. This year that has passed has been different, by trustees taking to virtual means to ensure that business continues uninterrupted and to ensure that all the fund’s requirements are attended to.
I express my thanks to the board of trustees, our service providers and the Front Office employees for their support and efforts during this very difficult Covid-19 year in ensuring that the fund was still run smoothly and effectively despite the challenges. We expect to have our normal yearly seminars up and running again in 2021 and encourage you to attend these to assist you in understanding your fund better and to raise any questions that you may have. Remember to keep a look out for these dates.
The local government bargaining council’s proposals for the consolidation of retirement funds in the local government sector are continuing and are being dealt with by the trustees. The fund will let you know of any future developments in this space. Please read the rest of this report. It provides useful information on the fund’s investments, benefits, rule changes and other financial information. Please speak to one of your trustees if you have any questions after reading this report. The fund Front Office is also available to assist you. I assure you that each decision the trustees make involving the fund revolves around how we can put in place the best benefits for our members with the goal of ensuring that you retire comfortably