KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds: Best Pension Fund Leadership South Africa 2020


KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) has been providing retirement benefits for workers in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province for 78 years. NJMPF offers employers and employees two defined-benefit retirement funds, which provide monthly and lump-sum benefits based on salary and service history. It also offers a defined-contribution provident fund, which pays out lump sums upon retirement, resignation, illness or death. Former CFO Bonginkosi Mkhize took the helm as CEO last year, managing assets of $1.2bn for some 21,000 current members and 9,000 pensioners. The insights Mkhize gained in his previous role made for a smooth leadership transition — one underpinned by an implicit commitment to strong corporate governance. Exemplary governance is a cornerstone of NJMPF, and its compliance handbook goes well beyond national treasury requirements. It maintains close relationships with regulators, and its audits are consistently clean. It engages with members in meaningful ways, and demonstrates strong community commitment. ESG criteria are a key consideration in aligning operations with responsible investing principles. NJMPF has incorporated impact investing into its portfolio to target attractive returns and community gains. The judging panel has followed NJMPF for some years, and applauds its innovative efficiencies and economies. Mkhize brings a democratic leadership style to the C-suite, and is committed to fostering a co-operative and cohesive work culture that encourages participation, and rewards performance. The judges declare NJMPF as the 2020 winner of the award for Best Pension Fund Leadership (South Africa).