Programme Overview

Conference Overview

Join us for the 4th Annual Africa Pensions, emerging Markets Investment & Retirement Forum as we look at the latest trends and solutions for retirement planning professionals.

Now in our fourth year, this is a gathering of the leading pension funds, experts in pension funds, investment and economic policy decision-makers.


We endeavor to promote knowledge-sharing and thought-leadership in the pension funds industry as well as a platform to enable participants to connect with new and existing pension networks.


The outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis has underscored the need to give greater priority going forward to increasing the level of longer-term domestic savings in African economies and providing for more extensive participation, including by those in the informal sector. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the crisis has also elevated the broader policy discussion on determining the best means of tapping into pools of domestic capital, where they exist, which will be important to a sustainable economic recovery. In South Africa, in 2020, pension funds applying for liquidation increased by 21.5% (FSCA) There is thereof an urgent need to reshape and reimagine the shape of the pensions and retirement funds and the regulatory regimes in Africa.

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4th Annual Africa Pensions Emerging Markets Investment & Retirement Forum (EMIR)

In the short-to-medium term, African pension funds are thus likely to experience losses...

The participation rates in pension fund systems in overall remain relatively low in Africa as compared to other regions. As the COVID crisis had a strong impact on the pension fund industry in African countries via members’ reduced contributions, early withdrawals, and shifts in and likely reduced investment overall across asset classes by the funds themselves. In the short-to-medium term, African pension funds are thus likely to experience losses (particularly in real terms) from the impact of monetary policy responses to the crisis and reductions in policy rates. The IFC, in particular, has observed that as African pension funds have been reviewing their investment strategies over the past few months in the context of the crisis, there has been a significant move toward a more defensive investment strategy by many funds. However, because of a lack of alternative investment instrument in Africa where financial sectors are underdeveloped, it is not uncommon even for investors with largely longer-term liabilities such as pension funds to hold a large proportion of their portfolios in relatively lower-yielding assets such as bank deposits and short-term government securities.

Prepared by consultants, trainers, academics and practitioners of internationally recognized expertise and experience with a combined wealth of their vast experience, the event presents specific problems, solutions and case histories in the best practices in pensions and retirement funds management, policy and regulation.


  • The pension and retirement opportunities and challenges offered by the Covid crisis

  • New strategies for risk-sharing between schemes’ underwriters and members

  • Funding gaps and regulatory benchmarks

  • Redesigning the pension and retirement institutions to accommodate the informal sector in Africa

  • Geographically diversified portfolios and negative shocks

  • The strategic implications of increasing allocation to fixed-interest

  • Is the stock-market rally a misguided euphoria?

  • The risks of investing pensions and retirement funds in speculative investments
  • Dealing with entities claiming exaggerated and guaranteed investment returns

  • Managing the “Two-pot” system risks

  • The impact of technology on modern pension and retirement funds

  • Enhancing Trustee Conduct to Combat the Emerging Risks in Pensions and Retirement Funds Management

  • The risks and rewards of retirement funds investments in infrastructure projects

DAY 1.

DAY 2.

DAY 3.

DAY 4.


  • Institutional Investors – Pensions, Insurance, Endowments & Foundations
  • Chief Executive Officer / CEO / President
  • Chief Investment Officer / CIO
  •  Chief Risk Officer / CRO
  • Pension Board Trustees & Committee Members
  • Asset Managers, Advisory Firms, Consultants and Technology Experts
  • Portfolio Managers

1. Topics

The New Dawn of Risk-sharing Between Schemes’ Underwriters and Members
  • Schemes’ pre-crisis financial position and basic characteristics
  • Relationship between schemes’ assets and liabilities
  • Capacity to access additional resources – private public schemes
  • Schemes’ link to assets and revenues
  • Characteristics that determine the impact of crisis on pension schemes and the types of responses governments may consider
Asset Price Shocks and the Value of Pension Reserves
  • Relationship between a defined benefit scheme’s assets and liabilities
  • Full funding
  • Underwriters’ fiduciary obligations
  • Negotiated reduction of liabilities
  • Low-yield government bonds
  • Funding gaps and regulatory benchmarks
  • Schemes deficits and government deficit
  • Higher taxes and growing public debt
Extending Pension Coverage to the Informal Sector in Africa: Harmonizing the Different Strategies and Approaches across Africa
  • Informality the norm in in Africa
  • Why are the existing contributory pension schemes in Africa excluding the informal sector
  • The characteristics of informal sector workers
    The building blocks of an informal pension scheme
  • Rethinking financial inclusion in the Africa financial landscape
  • Responding to the needs of the informal sector in pensions
  • Informal sector pension scheme structure, pension product design
  • Redesigning the pension and retirement institutions


Are Bond Slides Irresistible for the Pension Sector?: The Australian Case
  • The fear of sliding into recession
  • Historic bond rout
  • Shifting from strategies that supercharged returns to an investment mix that can withstand a downturn
  • The strategic implications of increasing allocation to fixed-interest
  • Is the stock-market rally a misguided euphoria?
  • Selling stocks to de-risk portfolios
  • Is the firefighting is coming at a price?
  • The Treasury bond curve – the harbinger of recession
  • The 60/40 to power through to beat inflation
  • Not all downturns are all bad, is it time to shed deadwood
The Impact of Technology on Modern Pension and Retirement Funds
  • The digital wave
  • The virtual wave
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) influence
  • Putting employees in control
  • Strong focus on data and analytics
The Risks and Reward of Retirement Funds Investments in Infrastructure
  • The South African Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act
  • Allowing greater private sector participation and crowd in higher levels of investment
  • The prudence of using retirement funds to close economic growth
  • Infrastructure asset categories
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
  • Accommodating impact investing


Retirement Reform: Will the Proposed Two-pot System Retirement Regulations Help or Harm South Africa’s Savings Levels?
  • The 2022 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill
  • What is the government hoping for?.
  • How many South Africans can afford to retire comfortably
  • Shifts in attitudes and behaviours of working households
  • The origins and fundamentals of the “two pot” retirement reform
  • The detrimental effects of early withdrawal from the retirement “pot”
  • Speculating on the improvement or reduction in the savings figure
  • Can short-term access encourage long-term saving?
  • The tax implications


Fine-tuning the Policy and Regulation Regime to Give Greater Priority to Longer-term Domestic Savings in the Economies
Developing Countercyclical Microfinance Savings Products to Build Resilience to Future Shocks
Thinking outside the Textbook: Strategies for Extending Pension Coverage to Informal Sector Workers
Geographically Diversified Portfolios and Negative Shocks
Pensions and Retirement Funds Investment in Speculative Investments: Zimbabwean Pensions Strategic Investments into Invictus Energy Case
Enhancing Trustee Conduct to Combat the Emerging Risks in Pensions and Retirement Funds Management 
Unclaimed Pension Fund Benefits: The Problem Persists!.
Dealing with Entities Claiming Exaggerated and Guaranteed Investment Returns
Good Practices for Pension Funds’ Risk Management Systems: Practical Lessons from the OECD Countries
Building a Solid Foundation of the Pensions and Retirement Funds: Channeling Longer-Term Domestic Savings of into the Productive the Industrial and Productive Sectors: The South Korea Case
The Pension and Retirement Opportunities and Challenges Offered by the Covid Crisis