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Retirement Planning
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 10:28
Cost containment

The South African retirement industry is grappling with the need to accommodate reforms and deliver on new demands to strengthen retirement savings at a lower operating cost. Optimized IT infrastructure offers some of the solutions.
This is according to Brian Anderson, an executive of SunGard South Africa, a specialist financial services solutions provider. He said the main challenges facing the industry were cost containment, regulatory changes and growth imperatives. Pending retirement reforms would also demand new levels of efficiency, agility and compliance, he noted.
The key to delivering on new mandates and future legislative changes lies in addressing the way pension funds are administered, said Anderson.
“On account of changes, this industry is now faced with an opportunity to embrace technology, in order to streamline operations, improve their efficiencies and lower costs. The retirement sector may be currently slowed by the use of outdated tools and systems, duplication of processes and extensive manual interventions,” he says.
The outcome of inefficient systems are processes that are slow, labour-intensive and costly. With the sector actively seeking to deliver greater returns to retirement fund beneficiaries, the answer is to revolutionise operations through automation, and ensure greater cost efficiencies through outsourced or managed services.
Improved infrastructure and processes will also enable agility and time to market with new products, deliver significant improvements in compliance and risk mitigation, and eliminate duplication in processes, he says. In the face of a changing environment, pension funds also need to invest in robust platforms that support new operational requirements, including analytics, business intelligence and mobility.
“By modernising their infrastructures, pension fund administrators would be better placed to contain costs and improve efficiencies, so enabling greater returns.”
Anderson notes that the benefits of advanced computing are not limited to major enterprises. With rental, Software as a Service and Application Service Provision (ASP) models now available, smaller pension funds are also able to harness world-class technologies to streamline their operations and contain costs.
SunGard is one of the world’s leading and largest software and technology services companies. SunGard Financial Systems provides mission-critical software and IT services to institutions in virtually every segment of the financial services industry. It serves approximately 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries. SunGard’s Africa operation comprises over 70 employees based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. It serves over 100 customers in ten African countries across insurance, capital markets, core banking, asset management and the corporate treasury industry. SunGard helps over 30 insurance firms in Sub-Saharan Africa manage their actuarial calculations, reporting and risk management, including some of South Africa's largest insurers.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:26.8 1st August, 2013
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