THE Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds (ZAPF) was set up following the promulgation of the Pension and Provident Funds Act in 1976.
Mr. J.S. Robins of Rio Tinto spearheaded the process. He called a meeting and invited all stakeholders, including self-administered pension funds, to seek recognition by the government as the sole and authentic body representing the Pension Funds Industry.
ZAPF, therefore, is a voluntary and non-profit-making organisation led by director-general Sandra Musevenzo. The ZAPF is directed and run by a council of 12 representatives elected for three years by ordinary members.
It operates as a lobbying body for the pensions industry in Zimbabwe seeking to protect the interests of its 200-plus members. ZAPF vision is to create an environment that is conducive to the stability, viability and long-term growth of the pensions industry in Zimbabwe through collection, circulation, and exchange of information that will be of service and interest to the members.
The Association conducts advisory pieces of pension training and workshops on pension fund management, actuarial, investments, accounting and governance under the pension space.
The Association offers a Certificate of Proficiency in Trusteeship to the trustees, who sit on pension fund boards.
Benefits of being a member
It is beneficial for every registered pension fund to be a member of the association in order to contribute to policy debate and reforms in the industry in a combined and well-structured manner.
- Failed pensioners regroup in litigation
- Long-serving pension funds trustees put on notice
- Unpacking the new Pension Funds Act
- Zisco pension fund trustees slam activist
Member funds have accessibility to service providers and vice versa.
Information on developments in the industry is disseminated and members have access thereto.
Training and support of members is offered.
It is an international standard for an industry that contributes to socio economic development to be cohesive and organised and speak with one voice on matters of interest.
The association engages the various stakeholders on behalf of its members; It serves as a single voice for the retirement funds industry; through this it :
Facilitates the provision of a well-administered retirement funds industry.
Free consultations: The association consults the relevant bodies, organisations and government ministries on behalf of its members freely and no charges are levied on the association;
Coordinates support to ensure that all interests are represented by establishing committees and bodies,
Offers a service and facilitation centre for potential partners and members;
Training: The association conducts training for its membership on various topics so as to enhance the skills base of the industry.
AGM &conference: Once a year, the association holds an annual indaba to discuss issues that affect the industry and also to impart knowledge. Various speakers are chosen from within Zimbabwe and outside the country. It is an event that every practitioner must attend in order to keep abreast with global trends on pensions.
It provides up to date information sharing; fast and efficient engagement with relevant authorities and stakeholders; good practices and market conduct standards ensured through code of conduct, investment strategies, corporate governance, member education and communication; and reduction of industry complaints.
The association also provides improved capacity of trustees - resulting in modern and first-class retirement funds administration, in turn ensuring reliability and safety of retirement savings, benefit from well-researched information for strategy formulation; increased investment opportunities for the financial markets; and sustainable national development and socio-economic benefits.
It also offers stimulation of the overall national economy; ZAPF through engagements with various regulatory and governance bodies, including the Insurance and Pensions Commission and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is trying to improve the state of the industry.
The association has been key and instrumental in policy formulation, just but to mention a few, it has facilitated the restructuring of industry investment guidelines to cater for alternative and foreign investments to aid portfolio diversification.
In addition, Musevenzo sits on the newly formed Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) Association board of directors as the deputy chairperson to facilitate the participation of pension funds in the adoption of REITs as an alternative investment.
ZAPF has also formed a strategic partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) Financial Engineering department to develop a Master of Technology Degree in Pensions Management and a Diploma in Pension Scheme Trusteeship to close the skills gap in the industry.
The partnership will also allow HIT to develop grade-A digital systems for the industry. Engagements with industry professionals where burning issues are deliberated on are also facilitated through the annual ZAPF principal officer and chairperson’s Convention and the ZAPF annual conference and AGM.
The next principal officer and chairperson’s convention will be held in Bulawayo from October 5 to 8 2023.
The association is dedicated to being the driver of change in the pensions industry.
Queries and further information
- Should you have any queries or require further information feel free to contact the ZAPF secretariat: ZAPF House, No 3 Penn Place Close, Strathaven, Harare. Telephone no. 263 242 333341-3.TeleFax 263 242 333343 or — [email protected] or @zapf.zw and Facebook page Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds — ZAPF.