Welcome one & all. In this short monthly blog, we will be keeping you updated on the latest and relevant legislative developments which have an impact on the retirement fund industry and the effects to members, employers, retirement funds and the financial services providers that service them.

In this month’s issue, we will look at POPIA (The Protection of Personal Information Act)

POPIA is certainly not your average “poppie”.

The current Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown restrictions have had a global impact on all governments, industries and economies. It has also inevitably slowed down the judiciary’s wheels of motion by which new legislation is put in place. However, of late, those wheels have been slowly put back in motion and one of the newest pieces of legislation is POPIA.

On 22 June 2020, the President issued a Proclamation regarding the commencement of certain sections of the POPI Act. The Act took effect 01 July 2020. The act aims to protect personal information, falling into the broader Constitutional right to privacy. POPIA seeks to regulate every step of the processing of personal information from how personal information must be handled when it is collected until the time it is destroyed. All entities/institutions have however been given a grace period of 12 months to ensure that they fully comply to the regulations.

As referred to earlier, the entire global economic landscape has been impacted and probably forever changed. Things will never be as before. This is also evidently noticeable in the way financial transactions are concluded. The old normal face-to-face consultations, meetings and signing of hard-copy documents are visions of the past.

This “new normal” way of financially transacting now places even greater importance of the protection of personal information, and hence also the greater impact of legislation such as POPIA.

As an administrator of member info, mCubed Employee Benefits and its service provider network have put increased measures in place to ensure the safety of member and employer information at all times.

It however remains the ultimate responsibility of each individual to keep his/her personal information as confidential as possible. As an administrator, we would therefore encourage each member and employee to ensure that their personal information is correctly captured at employer HR level, as this would be the information that gets uploaded to the retirement Fund’s database.

To end off, just a reminder of a few simple notes that we can all implement to ensure the safety of our personal information

Never log into your banking, financial or personal e-mail accounts whilst connected to a public or unsecured Wi-Fi connection.
-Never share your personal PIN’s and passwords.
-Never share your personal information via a public platform such as sms or Whatsapp.
-Change passwords regularly.

Until next time, thank you and good-bye from the Legal corner.