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Ten megatrends identified by Benchmark Survey – What is shaping our lives?

“The Sanlam Benchmark research is about asking and answering questions to spot the megatrends shaping our lives”, Viresh Maharaj, Chief Executive of Sanlam Corporate Sales and Marketing pointed out at the release of Sanlam’s 2019 Benchmark Research – the group’s annual retirement research.

Here are the ten megatrends identified in this year’s Report:

1. Governance & Regulation

Default regulations are the big change, along with King IV, B-BBEE and Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) Directive 8. Collectively, these are intended to instil best practice and trust across the industry.

2. Consolidation

Gone from 13 000 standalone funds in 2005 to just 1 450 today. The consolidation of standalone into umbrella funds is a huge trend that will continue.

3. Review of Umbrella Providers

Competition has increased and employers have more optionality than ever before. Anticipation of more frequent reviews and switching between providers.

4. Integration with Healthcare

The integration of healthcare, insurance and retirement funding is anticipated to holistically address a number of financial needs for employees.

5. Group Risk Disruption

A myriad of factors have combined to disrupt the status quo of the group risk space, including pricing behaviour, new regulations, and an increase in risks arising from economic stagnation, skills shortages, and a national health decline. The industry has reached a tipping point. It’s a new normal that requires fresh thinking to promote financial inclusion.

6. Technological Innovation

Tech will continue to transform financial experiences across the board. People want online capacity for values and transactions, then they want guidance at the right time. High tech, plus ‘high touch’ (human counsellors) to the right people at the right time can intervene for optimal outcomes. Like preserving rather than taking a lump sum.

7. Fixation on Costs

If EB consultants had one wish it would be for clients to stop fixating on costs and obsess over value instead.

8. Transformation

Currently, 60% of EB consultants don’t consider B-BBEE levels when recommending service providers and 33% don’t think employers place great weight on B-BBEE levels. Going forward, this must change as transformation becomes a nationwide imperative.

9. Cyber Risk

Refinitiv estimates the global cost of cybercrime to be about $600-billion p.a. The financial services sector is the most attacked in the world. In the next 5 to 10 years, Sanlam predicts a retirement fund is likely to be defrauded if more stringent infrastructure and oversight don’t come into force. Data must be protected. That’s why Sanlam created the Cyber Resilience Benchmark to empower consultants, employers and trustees to start asking the right questions.

10. Individualisation

Averages work on average but not for individuals. Every retirement journey is unique. Now and in the future, personalisation is critical.

Click here to read the article as published on the EBnet portal.

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