It’s official: Retirement funds can move 45% offshore

ByElizabeth J. Bohn

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Alterations to Regulation 28 of the Pension Fund Act, and in particular the maximize in the proportion of a retirement fund that asset managers can spend offshore, have been reviewed due to the fact 2019, when Nationwide Treasury initial outlined that it was time to update laws. These improvements to legislation were being gazetted this 7 days.

Browse: Treasury listens to field on Regulation 28

Treasury reiterated that the specific subsections of the regulation, frequently referred to as Reg 28, aims to shield retirement fund customers by imposing restrictions on investments in a certain asset or in specific asset courses to stop excessive concentration risk.

In limited, the polices drive pension money to cut down possibility to retirement resources by diversifying investments.

Even though Reg 28 enforced diversification, asset supervisors have complained that specified of the restrictions limited prudent fund administration ideas, in unique the previous need that a retirement fund can commit a most of 30% of its belongings offshore, as very well as a further 10% in African international locations.

Offshore prerequisite

The offshore need is a single of the most significant adjustments of Reg 28.

The 30% international and 10% African allowance have been changed with a one offshore restrict of 45%.

Go through: Pension resources may now commit up to 45% of their capital offshore

In addition, pension resources will be authorized to enhance their investments in infrastructure projects as the new rules recognise infrastructure as a individual asset course.

Limitations for the proportion a fund may commit in private equity cash and hedge funds have also been enhanced.

“The laws widen the scope of potential investments for retirement resources, but carries on to leave the final selection on any expense to the trustees of every single fund, who decide the expenditure policy for any fund,” claims Countrywide Treasury in a limited explanatory be aware to the gazetted changes.


The result of growing the restrict for offshore expenditure from 30% to 45% has led to speculation that billions well worth of financial commitment funds can go away SA. Nevertheless, the most recent Alexforbes Manager Look at survey of retirement cash discovered that most expenditure managers ended up already on or incredibly close to the earlier offshore allocation of 30%, though some have actually elevated their publicity to domestic equities, as local businesses had been found to present far better benefit than worldwide shares.

The Alexforbes Manager Enjoy, analysing investments at the end of 2021, identified that “most supervisors still continue to be shut to the boundaries of 30% for investment decision in intercontinental assets permitted by Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act.

Of the 36 professionals, only 8 have been reduced than the restrict of 30% by far more than 5%.

“Nedgroup [Balanced] was the cheapest at 18.9% adopted by ClucasGray on 19.3%. Oasis experienced the highest publicity to global belongings at 38.5%, which we infer includes some publicity to Africa equities,” suggests Alexforbes.

It mentioned that when most professionals saved their domestic asset allocation rather stable, some enhanced their allocation to domestic equities above their positions in December 2020.

Referring to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s announcement in the February 2022 finances speech of the raise in the foreign investment decision allowance for pension resources, Alexforbes reported: “It will be intriguing to keep an eye on how asset professionals respond to this determination. Upcoming iterations of the Alexforbes Manager Enjoy will include things like this sort of element.”

Glacier by Sanlam welcomed the boost in offshore investments from an successful 40% (30% entire world and 10% Africa) to 45%, with no distinction created in between Africa and the rest of the world.

“This is welcome information as it allows retirement fund users to even more diversify their investments. Nonetheless, a credible argument can be created that it has not long gone considerably plenty of,” suggests Sanlam.

“Savers are compelled to have 55% exposure to domestic belongings inside their retirement portfolios when South Africa’s contribution to international GDP is a mere .6%.

“This 55% exposure also desires to be deemed in just the context of the regular saver’s full exposure to South Africa which may be north of 90% when just one considers that their work are based here, as perfectly as their key residences. They also facial area a dwindling selection of investment opportunities as a consequence of organizations delisting from JSE,” provides Sanlam.

It also pointed out that it is “irresponsible” to aim on the preservation of cash in rand conditions, as the rand carries on to drop versus other currencies.

The most recent drop in the value of the rand to higher than R16 for each greenback – seemingly heading to R17 – proves this argument.


Treasury suggests that the final amendments revealed in the Government Gazette aim to explicitly enable and reference lengthier-phrase infrastructure expense by retirement funds, by rising the most limitations for investments in infrastructure.

“To this extent, the amendments introduce a definition of infrastructure and sets a restrict of 45% for publicity in infrastructure expense.”

“To further facilitate the expense in infrastructure and financial enhancement, the restrict in between hedge cash and private fairness has been break up. There will now be a different and bigger allocation to personal fairness assets, which is 15% (enhanced from 10%),” it notes.

Examine: Proposed improvements to Reg 28 offer you opportunities to revive the economy

“A limit of 25% has been imposed, throughout all asset lessons, to limit exposure of retirement funds to any a person entity (firm),” claims Treasury.

Enabling legislation

Futuregrowth Asset Administration says that whilst the modifications in limits had been mainly pushed by Nationwide Treasury’s intention to generate a a lot more enabling legislation for retirement funds to spend in infrastructure and associated property, the fact is that money could beforehand make investments in these possibilities off the again of Reg 28’s unlisted asset allowance of 35%.

“In the context of infrastructure, Futuregrowth supports the drive to make retirement resources more conscious of alpha-adding possibilities in this space – and hence the true job that the retirement fund market can perform in assisting economic growth by means of this sort of investments, even though earning hazard-adjusted returns,” it suggests.

“We are, nevertheless, continue to of the view that the last definition of infrastructure as now defined within just Regulation 28 stays broad and, as a consequence, could have unintended consequences,” it notes.

Just modifying Regulation 28 isn’t plenty of
How Regulation 28 modification modifications the sport

“Listed devices [both equity and debt] could be thought of as infrastructure [MTN, Vodacom, Netcare, etc], which is particularly problematic provided that National Treasury has positioned an in general 45% cap on infrastructure investments.

“It is consequently most likely that several retirement cash will bump into these limitations incredibly immediately with out the release of any guiding concepts from Countrywide Treasury on what is regarded infrastructure,” adds Futuregrowth.

It also notes that SA has a substantial shortfall to fund the advancement of infrastructure around the future two a long time, in that close to R1.8 trillion will be desired. Pension cash can enjoy a meaningful function in this regard as numerous have not made considerably financial commitment in this sector owing to absence of comprehension and/or panic.

“We congratulate all those pension resources that have already produced significant investments in infrastructure and related investments, and we know that they are keen to commit further more,” suggests Futuregrowth.


Countrywide Treasury is nonetheless cautious of cryptocurrencies.

“Retirement cash will proceed to be prohibited from investing in crypto assets,” it states.

“The excessive volatility and unregulated character of crypto assets require a prudent approach, as new market place volatility in these kinds of assets demonstrates,” it provides.

SA’s plan to control cryptocurrency
Sarb urges engagement on blockchain
Governing administration is placing crypto beneath the magnifying glass

Headlines of failing cryptocurrencies and buying and selling platforms, as effectively as trading frauds and lacking thousands and thousands, suggest that this ban is possible to keep on being in location for a extensive time.

Treasury reiterated that retirement resources have a fiduciary duty to act in the ideal fascination of its associates whose benefits count on the responsible administration of fund belongings.

“This obligation supports the adoption of a responsible expenditure method to deploying money into markets that will earn sufficient hazard adjusted returns appropriate for the fund’s particular member profile, liquidity demands and liabilities.

“Prudent investing ought to give suitable thing to consider to any component which could materially have an affect on the sustainable prolonged-expression overall performance of a fund’s belongings, which includes components of an environmental, social and governance character. This principle applies throughout all assets and categories of belongings and ought to promote the passions of a fund in a stable and transparent surroundings,” it says.


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