OUR INDEPENDENCE

At EFBC, we focus on providing customised, value-added retirement fund solutions to members, employers and boards of trustees. Our independence refers to the fact that we are not “tied” to any administration platform or insurance provider. We are committed to assist your fund management committees to achieve your goals and attend to members’ pre- and post-retirement needs.

Worldwide, the need for independent advice is growing. There shouldn’t be any debate about whether an employer or board of trustees should consider appointing an independent consultant to its retirement fund and separate group risk arrangements, as good governance demands it.

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR), which addresses independent consultants and tied-agents, – issued by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) – has officially commenced and will be phased in over the next couple of years. The RDR supports Treating Customers Fairly (TCF), ensuring service providers put their customers first when it comes to providing financial products and advice. The FSCA’s Circular PF 130 sets out the governance principles, with paragraph 42 reading as follows:

“The board should satisfy itself that any expert advice obtained is independently given. Where the professional gives expert advice in respect of a service provider or the employer or sponsor to the fund, then the board should satisfy itself that such advice is not compromised by the relationship of that professional or his or her firm to that service provider, employer or sponsor, as the case may be.”

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By selecting us as your consultant, we offer the following services in an unbiased manner to benefit the independence of your very own retirement fund, as proposed by PF 130:

  • Provide an independent survey of costs and relevant services with a good understanding of the cost structures of retirement fund service providers
  • Negotiate costs to the benefit of members
  • Provide insight and knowledge of industry-related products and services, and the ability to plug and play with all umbrella and private fund structures without any delay
  • Report on the total investment cost of investment portfolios and fees payable to third parties
  • Review the fund’s financial statements and actuarial valuation independently and ensure that any issues are brought to the attention of the trustees and/or Manco
  • Communicate directly with the fund auditors regarding the audit and investigate matters reported on
  • Monitor that administrative errors are not carried by the fund and/or members, by allocating it to the fund’s Data and Processing Reserve Account, or by adjusting the investment returns
  • Manage operational costs effectively by way of a budget process to generate maximum retirement fund savings
  • Monitor the processes of administrators against service level agreements and report on any late investment and disinvestment of assets
  • Check benefit statements for correctness
  • Assist with member queries and resolve matters with the administrator
  • Ensure medical requirements for members received from underwriters are attended to efficiently
  • Understand the risk policy conditions of all the underwriters/insurers
  • Provide independent legal and technical advice
  • Attend to all administrative queries on behalf of the fund