The African trustee
- B. Reform. Manila. Latchman
- Proceeding from Zimbabwe Pensions and Retirement…
This article is motivated by the predicament that hit pensioners in Zimbabwe following the introduction of the multi-currency system. Zimbabwe experienced economic woes which rendered the Zimbabwean dollar worthless and consequently necessitating a switch to stable currencies. The pension assets and liabilities were invested in the local currency before the currency reform, and the result of the multi-currency system was a mismatch of the assets and liabilities of the pension funds financial position which led to paltry pension benefits. The nature of pension funds places a great responsibility on the stakeholders who are involved in running these schemes and therefore ensuring that reasonable expectation by beneficiaries is met. The article focuses on the core aspects surrounding the structure and managing of pension funds in Zimbabwe. The researcher investigated the roles of important stakeholders in the Zimbabwean pension industry, namely, government, trustees, investment managers, and actuaries. The article further delves into the ethical issues and challenges faced by those managing Zimbabwean pension funds. The researcher conducted a total of 30 personal interviews to collect primary data from professionals in the Zimbabwean pension industry which were split as follows: 10 trustees, 10 investment managers, and 10 actuarial consultants. Secondary data were also used in this study and it comprised of journals, newspaper articles, investment reports, and textbooks. The researcher recommends that pension funds develop sound corporate governance mechanisms that will encourage the best ethical practices among all of their stakeholders. The findings provide evidence for a need to empower pension fund trustees through training and introduction of a pension protection scheme. In addition, the current regulatory system needs to be reviewed to capture the changing economic environment upon which pensions funds operate.