PIA steps in at Saturnia Fund, calls for meeting

The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has invited Saturnia Regna Pensions Fund Board of Trustees and Fund administrators to plan for an Annual General Meeting as Zambia’s largest private pensions scheme sinks in turmoil.

The fate of over K2 billion held in trust for contributors is at stake as bickering and fraud allegations at Saturnia Regna Pension Fund take center stake.

Munakupya Hantuba and several other prominent businessmen, including Hakainde Hichilema have been named in a controversial shareholding structure of Africa Life Financial Services, Menel Management Services and Benefits Consulting Services Ltd – companies which are behind the management of the private pension Fund.

The Board of Trustees has been calling for an Annual General Meeting in an attempt to change the Fund managers, but the latter has sought the court’s intervention although unsuccessful.

Fund administrators (Benefits Consulting Services Ltd) rejected the latest proposal for a meeting which was scheduled to take place yesterday, stating that the current Board of Trustees members were no longer recognized by Saturnia.

Saturnia Regna Pension Fund administrators went further to state that a new list of Board Trustee members had been proposed and the candidates were ready for elections.

But in a letter dated May 23, PIA deputy registrar Bob Musenga invited the trustees and Benefits Consulting, which is the fund administrator for a meeting tomorrow.

“I wish to invite you to a meeting to be held at the Authority offices on Friday the 26th May, 2017 at 10:30 hours for the purposes of planning for the Annual General Meeting. Take note that the Authority is deeply concerned on the current status of the scheme and it is therefore imperative that you attend without fail. We shall appreciate your usual cooperation,” Musenga wrote.

In November 2016, the trustees wrote to PIA complaining about Benefits Consulting and seeking the authority’s intervention but there was no reply and no action taken.

Among the complaints listed, the trustees, through their chairperson Doreen Kabunda, stated that Benefits Consulting was undermining the role of the trustees and failing to avail them with relevant information regarding the management of the fund.

The trustees also complained that Benefits Consulting had refused to address their short-comings as revealed in the PIA report on the fund but instead decided to attack the composition of the Board of Trustees.

         

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