BRIEF ON ASSOCIATION OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS SCHEMES
The Association of Retirement Benefits (ARBS) is the professional association of retirement benefits. It was incorporated in 1999 with the aim of bringing together various stakeholders and providing a forum where issues important to the industry are to be addressed and to lobby the regulators on behalf of the industry.
Its mandate under the Constitution includes:
- To encourage and contribute to closer links between trustees and sponsors of retirement benefits schemes and the various service providers and advisers;
- To promote knowledge of and research into the retirement benefits sector; and
- To make representations to regulators and provide support and advice to Association members.
The Association focuses on delivering the following:
- A retirement benefits industry governed on the highest principles of delivering best value to all stakeholders (Industry Governance);
- A representative of the majority of the retirement benefits with the strength of voice and resources to meet its members’ needs (Member Representation);
- A strong relationship with the regulators in which ARBS’ opinion is sought and valued in all considerations of regulatory development (Cohesion with regulator);
- An opportunity for trustees and other stakeholders to gain for themselves the knowledge and understanding necessary to equip them to address to varied and complex issues which face them (Knowledge Resource);
- An environment in which the State schemes are as well managed and well-funded as occupational and individual schemes and where there is a level playing ground among all types of schemes (Fair Play); and
- An ARBS Council which is constantly informed of the sentiments among retirement benefits schemes trustees and other stakeholders enabling it to direct its energies appropriately (Understanding members’ needs).
It seeks to inform the members and public on matters affecting the industry such as:
- Drafting of NSSF Act 2013 (notably inclusion of contracting out, governance standards etc);
- Following up on Retirement Benefits Umbrella Scheme Regulations;
- Providing input on development of RBA Market Conduct guidelines or Guidelines on Governance practices;
- Submission to National Treasury on overall review of Income Tax Act;
- Submission to National Treasury on development of National Retirement Benefits Policy;
- Quarterly Consultative Meetings with RBA;
- Litigation regarding the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act; and
- Annual submissions to National Budget.
Membership is available to:
- Retirement Benefits Schemes;
- Fund Managers and
- Any other professionals in the pension industry.
The association empowers members to manage their retirement benefits schemes better by way of seminars, workshops and luncheons organized by ARBS. The events are held quarterly but can be held otherwise if the need arises. During these events, key speakers are invited to elaborate to members on current and topical retirement benefits issues.
The annual membership fee is KShs. 12,500 and the registration fee is KShs. 5,000 for incoming members. If registering after July it is the registration fee plus half of annual fee (6,250).
TRUSTEE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME KENYA (TDPK)
Launched on 29th August 2011, the TDPK was developed by the RBA together with the College of Insurance. This training is delivered by the College and run by ARBS under the RBA. ARBS has been at the forefront in the provision and development of the TDPK to ensure optimal delivery of the training.
It was established under the Prudential Guidelines for Capacity Building of Trustees of Retirement Benefits Schemes pursuant to sections 26(3) and 55(3) of the Retirement Benefits Act. All Trustees of Retirement Benefits Schemes and Directors of Corporate Trustees of any retirement benefits scheme in Kenya must undergo training in the programme to be certified and approved by the RBA.
The training helps trustees develop skills necessary to perform their duties and functions effectively such as:
- Retirement benefits schemes fundamentals;
- Trustee Governance;
- Investment of scheme funds and
- Administration and oversight.