Know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to insurance!
1. You have a right to be informed; in simple and clear terms how the insurance works and how it will meet your needs.
2. You have a right to purchase insurance cover from an insurance company of your choice.
3. You have a right to be treated fairly by your insurance company
4. You have a right to be given written reasons if you have been denied cover.
5. You have a right to receive and keep a policy document if you pay your premiums and meet the responsibilities.
6. You have a right to be informed in writing if your policy is not being renewed, cancelled or altered.
7. You have a right to cancel you policy at anytime
8. You have a right to be advised of the consequences of canceling your policy and any breach of the contract, including failure to pay your premiums
9. You have right to prompt and fair handling of your claims
10. You have a right to reasonable repair of your damaged car, property and indemnification of any loss incurred.
11. You have a right to dispute your insurance company's refusal to pay benefits
12. You have a right to register a complaint about your insurance company
13. You have a right to professional service by your insurance company, broker or agent
1. You must pay your premiums in time as agreed between you and the insurance company
2. You must give true and accurate information to your insurer and complete all forms promptly
3. You must provide your insurer with updated information when requested
4. You must attend medical examinations requested by your insurer that are reasonably necessary to evaluate your proposal or claim
5. You must ask questions and share information so that you understand what your policy covers and your obligations under it.
6. You must avoid dealing with unregistered entities. Always request for proof of registration before committing yourself to purchase insurance cover.
THE PRINCIPAL OFFICER OF A RETIREMENT FUND
1. Who is a Principal Officer
A Principal Officer is someone appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Retirement Fund to be the executive officer of the Fund, responsible for administering the day to day affairs of the Fund. Every Retirement Fund must have a Principal Officer, who shall be a Swazi citizen resident in Swaziland. The name of the Principal Officer must be advised to the Registrar in writing within 30 days of appointment
2. What are the duties of the Principal Officer?
The Principal Officer's duties include:
- Receiving and processing all communication made to the Fund
- Ensuring that all decisions of the Board are implemented
- Ensuring that the Fund complies with all the requirements of the applicable legislation
- Liaising on behalf of the Board with service providers to the fund
- Contributing at Board meetings
- Doing any other administrative function in terms of the Rules of the Fund and applicable legislation.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF TRUSTEES
1. Who is a trustee
A trustee is someone who has been elected or appointed into the Board of Trustees of a Retirement Fund (also known as the Management Board)
2. How are the trustees elected or appointed?
Trustees must be elected/appointed in accordance with the Retirement Funds Act 2005. The Act provides that the Board of Trustees must consist of at least 4 persons, of whom at least 50% shall be elected by the members of the retirement Fund and the balance shall be appointed by the employer. The procedure for the election of the trustees should be contained in the rules of the Fund.
3. Who elects the trustees
The following people have a right to elect at least half of the members of the Board of Trustees.
- All active members
- Pensioners (who receive monthly pension from the Fund)
- Deferred pensioners
The balance of the members should then be appointed by the employer
4. Structure of the Board of Trustees
The Board must be headed by a chairman who shall be elected by the trustees from amongst themselves.
5. What are the duties of the chairman
The chairman must:
- Proactively lead the Board without bias.
- Confirm agenda for the Board and review draft minutes.
- Manage Board meetings.
- Review and evaluate the performance of the entire Board, Board committees and the Principal Officer.
- Meet regularly with the Principal Officer to monitor operations of the Fund.
- Act as spokesperson for the Fund.
- Proactively raise issues of concern with the employer on behalf of the board.
6. What are the duties of the Board of Trustees?
The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are to:
- Manage the Fund in accordance with the Rules and the applicable legislation.
- Act in the best interest of the members of the Fund
- Keep proper records of the operations of the Fund
- Inform members of their benefits and rights
- Ensure that contributions are timeously paid to the Fund
- Ensure that the rules and operations of the Fund are not in violation of the Act
- Ensure proper management and investment of the assets of the Fund
- Distribute death benefits
- Ensure that returns are prepared and submitted to the Registrar timeously
- Ensure that audited financial statements are prepared and submitted to the Registrar
- Appoint a valuator of the Fund
- Appoint and auditor of the Fund
- Appoint an investment manager of the Fund
7. Protecting the interest of the members
The board must ensure that the interests of members are protected at all times by:
- Acting with care, diligence and good faith
- Avoiding conflict of interest; and
- Acting impartially
8. Some events where members' interests should be protected
The following are some events where members' interests should be protected
- Splitting of investments
- Selection of service providers
9. Procedure in meetings
The Rules of the Fund must state:
- The procedure at meetings
- The voting rights of members of the Board
- The Breaking of deadlocks
- The powers of the Board