experts say pensions are safe

Madoda Milazi

Madoda Milazi

The current global credit turmoil will not cripple South African pension funds as they were not exposed to the collapsing financial institutions in the US and UK.

This is according to local analysts who this week said although the JSE would be affected, things would not get ugly for collective funds like pension, unit trusts and retirement annuities.

"Investors should be reassured by the strong action taken by the (US) Federal Reserve which has led to calmer trading on Wall Street and global markets in general," said Di Turpin, chief executive of the Association of Collective Investments.

The JSE All Share Index declined by close to 12percent in September alone, and was down by 30percent from the peak in May.

Turpin said local investors had been less affected by the fall in equity prices than their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

Domenico Ferrini, global investment director at Investec Asset Management, said their funds had no exposure to any of the banks and mortgage companies that were affected. Investec and Old Mutual are the two local financial services companies with offshore exposure.

"Yes, the troubles of the financial system are going to continue - with more mergers and some failures of smaller firms - and credit will be less available, but once again the authorities have shown that they will not allow this to become a disorderly unwind," said Ferrini.

John Cairns of Rand Merchant Bank said that in the meantime the markets would remain extremely volatile.