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MIP Employee Benefits is a fully integrated administration and financial system.
MIP Employee Benefits Division (EB) is a fully integrated and comprehensive Administration and Financial solution that provides for all the daily services, support, reporting and management of any Retirement Fund Administration operation.
As a user intuitive web based solution MIP EB provides location independent secured access to administrators, members, employers, consultants, trustees and even legislators! MIP EB is workflow driven where all business processes are configurable according to each of our specific client’s processes and service level needs.
The division adopts a multi-tier, relational database technology, which provides a platform to facilitate fast and easy deployment, performance evaluation and management information. It is designed to provide all the necessary services and support for the functional areas of the efficient administration of an Employee Benefit business.
The MIP EB team are passionate about providing a flexible and process driven solution to enable our clients to focus on their Retirement Fund Member business.
The solution is a fully integrated Employee Benefits Administration and Financial system. Its design enforces a high level of integrity through strict validation processes and daily management of member, accounting and investment data.
The design and ongoing enhancements are driven by the goals of accommodating:
- Industry and legislative developments
- Business processes efficiencies
- Technology innovations
- Generic solutions
The Administration Solution currently enables the administration of hundreds of South African retirement funds consisting of over 1,000,000 members. It was launched over 12 years ago and has been growing in significant functionality since then, including dynamically supporting all of the changing legislative requirements and ongoing technological advances.
All administration needs, of an extensive range of retirement funds, each with their own rules and benefit structures, are accommodated by the solution. These include umbrella funds, company pension and provident funds, industry and bargaining council funds, beneficiary funds, trust, private and government, benefit backed loans, as well as unclaimed funds.
As an “all-in-one” (SOA) Web enabled system the MIP EB solution boasts a highly evolved and integrated Employee Benefits Administration solution providing for comprehensive member management, contribution management, claims processing, and third party integration. This includes full integration into powerful , Call Centre, Communications, , amongst others, and facilitates all the security and data exchange requirements of a first class solution. To complete the solution, the Financial Accounting functionalities provide a complete accounting and General Ledger solution to support all the related transactions, reporting and auditing that allows for a full set of Fund accounts to be easily produced whenever required.
The team comprises highly skilled Business Analysts, Developers, Quality Assurance and Client Services Personnel with over 200 years of experience in the industry and in the production, training and support of this critical solution. That enables the team to effectively implement and manage all the business, legislative, and technological factors that drive change in the Retirement Funding industry. This includes the necessary software, migration and process solutions to satisfy escalating member expectations, risk exposures, regulatory directives, retirement funders and administrator demands to compete.
The standard value offering by MIP is based on the Software as a Service model (SaaS). This means that there is no initial capital outlay, so reducing the risk to our clients. The system is installed, managed and enhanced on the basis of a fixed monthly fee linked to a key performance indicator such as the number of members or assets under management, etc. This fee structure is designed as a risk-sharing proposition for our clients, and includes all licensing, bespoke and general enhancements, data migration and solution support functions.
The architecture and design of the MIP EB solution makes extensive use of user defined multi-level parameters. These multi-level parameters cater for multiple-choice investments, reinvestments, risk premiums and the payment of benefits to members. This structure provides for all: Types of Funds, including Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution, unitised and non-unitised, Umbrella Funds, Living Annuity Funds and Trusts.
Multilevel parameters that are defined as Fund Option Level, Member Group / Pay point / Participating Employer level, Category level and Member level. The following parameters are available at these levels:
- Investment Portfolio’s
- Contribution Rates
- Exit Categories (types)
- Age parameters
- Risk Benefits
- Life Stages
- Salary types (including calculation)
- Loan types
- Rapid Data Migration (including all member and transaction data), which is facilitated by the flexible structure to map any imported EB data and provide the necessary functionality.
All parameters are user defined, and so any changes to parameters can be easily and efficiently changed.
These parameters therefore provide a simple parameterised Fund configuration process for all new schemes. This enables our client’s system administrators to specify and define the Fund rules applicable to participating employers and their members. The system administrator is able to override rules where necessary at any participating employer level, which fully caters for Umbrella Fund administration. This process includes:
- Fund and Financial setup – user defined setup allows the business to do the parameter setup.
- Data take on – MIP EB has import functionality to facilitate the take-on of member data and transactions, and included in this is an import mapping facility in order to match specific data.
Examples of rules and parameters are:
- Defined Benefit / Defined Contributions
- Investment Options
- Member Choice
- Trustee Choice
- Life Stages and Life Stage Rules
- Exit Categories
- Exit Sub-Types with GL Accounts and Cost Centres
- Risk Products
- Investment Portfolios
- Additional Parameters, such as
- Normal Retirement Age
- Early Retirement Age
- Late Retirement Age
- Contribution Cessation Age
- Minimum and Maximum Joining Ages
The MIP EB solution caters for all kinds of Risk products to be administered for members contributing to the fund. These products are configured to suit the client’s needs.
Calculations for cover and premiums as defined by our clients, range from simple to very complex.
Risk products can be approved or unapproved as well as inclusive or exclusive depending on the rules of the Fund.
Group Insured benefit deductions and payments are easily facilitated by:
- User defined Risk products including approved and unapproved insured benefits.
- Risk premiums and benefits that are catered for in a premium to benefit calculation including age/salary/maximum ranges as well as Free cover limits and statuses.
In addition MIP EB also caters for Flexible Risk benefits, Risk Cost Savings accounts and Reinforced benefits.
SOA WEB SERVICES
Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) has been deployed as the platform upon which MIP’s solutions are built. The implementation of SOA enables MIP to offer its services and data openly via Web Services.
This supports the ideals sought by many businesses, namely the building of large-scale corporate solutions on the aggregation of various services required by the business process.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
By maintaining and leveraging the knowledge base within the MIP EB Team as well as implementing the technology advances introduced by a dedicated MIP Research and Development team, MIP EB stays up to date with the latest trends by actively maintaining the leading edge in:
- Business and Industry Functionality, such as interfacing into a market leading online payroll solution
- Legislative Compliance, such as ensuring that all known POPI requirements are currently accommodated
- Technology Advances being applied, such as the latest innovation in Decision Engines that give our clients the ability to rapidly make business rule changes without any coding.
- Accounting and Finance
- Security and Access Management
- Call Centre
- Document Management
- Mobile Apps
- Dynamic Questionnaires
- Event Calendar
- Job Scheduling
- Cloud Hosting
- Task Management
The MIP EB solution is far more than a simple backend administration platform. Each of the SOA functionalities listed below are seamlessly integrated into the MIP EB system to offer a full blown interactive solution that accommodates every aspect of our client’s needs. Typically each of the SOA functions would have to be purchased or built and interfaced separately when dealing with other software providers.
The latest MIP SOA versions are continuously being applied to our client MIP EB solutions to take advantage of the latest innovations available.
ACCESS SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT
A general priority at MIP is to take every effort to ensure a safe and secure system environment for all our clients! That implies providing for:
- Access Security – There is an increasing need for access to information for members, trustees, employers and consultants. The MIP EB system provides for an active and secure website to enable authorized stakeholders to view all relevant information, extract online reports and maintain all their data wherever they are. All access limits individual access by password controlled user login accounts according to the functions applicable to their roles and responsibilities. Seniority levels per user can be specified as well as workgroups. User profiles can be setup and linked to user accounts, which will limit those particular users’ access and functionality according to that profile.
- Audit Trails – Audit trails and reports are available on all updates, and can be specifically customised according to client requirements.
- Database Management – MIP assumes the responsibility to ensure that each client’s MIP EB solution environments are running optimally and securely according to requirements, including those for LIVE, TESTING and DEVELOPMENT.
- Disaster Recovery Planning and Testing (DRP) – A comprehensive DRP and Business Continuity Plan is in place for the backup of the MIP operations as well as for each of the MIP client environments. These are regularly tested by MIP and our clients.
Administration consists of requesting and collecting premiums on a monthly basis. The MIP EB solution simplifies this monthly contribution cycle by the workflow driven, web enabled Pre-Billing schedule available to administrators, consultants and HR departments.
Once logged in and authenticated, the user is able to update, commit and confirm their Pre-Billing Schedule. Once these are committed and confirmed, the system creates the appropriate expectations for each member and the financial entries in the MIP Financial system.
MIP EB facilitates all individual member data, including:
- Static Data – ID checks, beneficiaries, multiple address and communication methods.
- Transaction accounts – individual accounts for Contributions and Risk Benefits are held as well as individual unitised accounts per portfolio, all transactions are recorded with both a period and transaction date.
- History records – Fund option, Member group, category, portfolio, salary and risk product history records allows members the choice of flexible contributions and benefits.
The Monthly Contribution processes of the solution includes:
- New member install – via a bulk import process or individual new member capture
- Billing and receipting – real time transaction processing with full unitisation, including Additional Voluntary Contributions as well as all deductions for Insured Risk benefits, Administration and Consulting fees
- Before and After reporting
- Real-time financial integration
- Importing of Contribution files
Depending on the rules of the fund, the MIP EB solution provides for future unit pricing, historical unit pricing and interest declaration. All these models can be applied daily, monthly or as required. Trade reports are produced for instruction to asset managers.
Members can choose to switch portfolios according to the Fund rules, by either a percentage or rand amount. Members can also define their portfolio for contribution redirection which will determine where their future contributions will be invested.
Where required, funds are enabled to show a combined investment return to their members instead of investment growth per portfolio.
Wrap investment functionality is also available, which enables the administrator to invest according to the fund's investment selection, but calculates and displays a combined growth to members.
The administrator has a choice to disinvest monies from the investment portfolios on a daily basis or as and when required, and portfolios can be re-balanced as required. The portfolios re-balancing methods are specified by the administrator.
MIP EB facilitates the following:
- Daily Unit Pricing and Trading
- Unitised and non-unitised
- Declared Bonus Runs
- Individual member choice with unlimited portfolio splits
- Daily switch capability on Fund, Employer or Member Level
- Trustee choice
- Comprehensive Life Stage Modelling – User defined parameters allow automatic lifestage selection by means of Range defined portfolio splits with parameter driven Life Stage phasing or switching.
- External portfolio’s with import and export facilities for updating Unit holdings
- Individual Member Portfolio history, where individual portfolio records are held to allow for both portfolio values, switching and future contributions to be kept separately.
- Unlimited investment managers and portfolios on any level
Annuity based funds for Living Annuities and Trusts are managed by MIP EB. This includes:
- Investment choices
- Annuity payment runs
- Individual member accounts
- Annuity payment options – per member choice, payment amounts and scheduling
- SARS - Tax deductions and IRP5 processing
The MIP EB web based exit process caters for all exits defined in any particular Fund configuration. The exit process, linked to the integrated workflow, allows for streamlined processing as well as the reporting on the current status of any exit process. Payment files are created for importing into the client’s banking account, or via MultiData, which can then be used for the distribution of the payments to the members. All documentation and communications are stored on the member record and are retrievable directly from web enquiry screen for future reference and in compliance of the POPI act.
All individual claim records for various claim types that can be paid out outside or within the exit process, are managed by MIP EB including:
- Flagging of member records
- Divorce order payments including the tax payment
- Guaranteed loans, IT88’s, maintenance court orders, etc.
The MIP EB Workflow can be configured to process exiting members for all:
- Exit types and subtypes
- Individual and Bulk exits
- User defined Benefit calculation
- SARS integration – both Tax directive request and receive as well as EMP501 recon
- Unclaimed benefits
- Third party payments
- Electronic payments
- Member exit letters
SARS integration means that your administration is made easy. Clients can receive tax directive requests as well as EMP501 recons via the MIP system.
The MIP EB system integrates to the MIP Lending solution that is designed to manage all types of lending. The MIP EB solution therefore provides for all kinds of lending, including Pension Fund Loan Administration and Guaranteed loans according to specifically defined rules that providing for:
- User defined parameters
- Individual record keeping
- Billing and Receipting
- Fee and insurance deduction
- Member loan statements
Automatic loan settlement forms part of the standard Exit Workflow.
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIALS
Obviously, a core aspect of any well rounded financial administration solution is the ultimate integration of all the transactions into a full and comprehensive accounting system. MIP EB is thus tightly integrated to the MIP Financials, which a powerful suite of financial accounting software. This includes a full audit trail of all transactions generated by MIP EB, a drill down facility to individual transactions from the General Ledger, and the ability to generate monthly fund management accounts that incorporate balance sheets and income statements amongst others.
MIP Financials is fully integrated and real-time solution that provides our clients with the following functional modules:
- General Ledger – this includes user defined GL accounts and cost centres, financial calendars and year end processes
- Creditors – Maintenance and Invoicing
- Cash book – this includes Bank Reconciliation
- Fixed Assets
Where an administrator prefers to use another accounting package the MIP Financials provide a simple interfacing mechanism for any other open accounting system as and when required.
Integration from MIP EB to the MIP financials takes place at two levels. Firstly, online updates occur after billing runs, as well as updates to the cheque and EFT registers when payments are made. Secondly, at day end, all other transactions in MIP EB that have a financial impact are automatically posted to the GL either as totals for each transaction type for each account, or as individual entries where this is required. Mapping to the client’s GL chart of accounts is possible via simple setup in MIP EB, allowing the user to determine which accounts are debited and credited for each transaction.
The Bank Statement Automation and Reconciliation functionality allows the administrator to perform quick and easy bank reconciliations. This function automatically reconciles transactions between the imported bank statements and the cashbook, while un-reconciled items can be journalized and reconciled by the click of a button. The reconciliation of fund expense records are reconciled automatically to a point where the financial system and electronic bank statement can be matched on amount, date and/or cheque number.
The MIP Financial system has a large number of reports for auditing and management purposes, including Trial Balance, Balance Sheet, Income Statement and other user-defined reports. Budget comparisons are possible. This means that budgets may be prepared and refined in Excel and later imported into the GL for comparison in financial reporting. In addition, the parameter set up allows for flexible accounting periods and the system produces the full set of financial accounting reports in terms of these periods.
Ultimately this simplifies your processes, saves you implementation and ongoing operational time, and eliminates margin for error!
Workflow is incorporated in all MIP solutions “out of the box”. This places our clients in a powerful position where business processes, which are often considered to be the most valuable IP, can be uniquely defined and implemented for each client. These unique processes are built by reusing standard components provided within the solution. Our Workflow orchestrates even the most complex of business processes.
The automated workflow processes enhance efficiencies, management of service levels and eliminates process duplication. Strict validation rules are enforced.
Automated period ends, batch runs, client communications, electronic data sharing between wide varieties of third parties and detailed reporting all contribute to streamlined business processes, document management, communication management and great client service levels!
MULTIMEDIA AND DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
MIP EB includes a built-in systematic routing, storage and retrieval for the flow of documents, emails, SMS, and voice clips directly through the MIP EB application throughout the company, designed in accordance with the specified business processes of the company.
In addition to this, MIP’s SOA implementation enables the integration of any of our solutions to all new or legacy document storage solutions that may already be in place.
This provides options for storage and viewing of documents in various formats for employers, employees, consultants and administrators through one web based on-line portal.
This ultimately maintains an automated organisational discipline over document management especially indexing, storage and easy access links, so files and documents are difficult to lose and easy to access from anywhere online!
DECISION RULES ENGINE
The MIP EB system also contains a highly sophisticated Decision Rules Engine, namely Corticon. This enables our client system administrators to define their business rules as the basis of any calculation or decision. Complex rules and decision logic are accommodated by this Rules Engine, through which MIP EB passes data and receives the relevant calculation and decision results.
These calculations are fully reusable and examples would be for Retirement Dates, Exit Benefits, complex Risk premiums etc. Furthermore, each decision request, process and result is audited for full transparency.
3rd PARTY ACCESS AND INTEGRATION
MIP EB has various ways of communicating with 3rd parties, from 3rd party password controlled logins to automated and job scheduled data exports. The solution is web-enabled and customisable screens allow members access to their records according to the MIP EB client specifications and access rules.
In addition the MIP EB provide for all necessary 3rd Party data exchange interfaces, including:
- All major banks
- Auto bank statement reconciliations
- Real time tax directive requests
- Investment houses
- Document management tools
- Client Financial Systems if preferable to the MIP Financials
Comprehensive management information provides standard reports that cover all aspects of the administrative process. These reports can be delivered in a number of formats such as Excel, .pdf, HTML, etc.
The system has a comprehensive range of standard online reports that cover all aspects of the administrative and management process. Customized client reporting is also accommodated. Some of the available reports are:
- Contribution and Risk Reporting
- Members reaching Retirement
- Free cover limits
- New members
- Outstanding Exits
- Benefits Statements
The reports can be delivered in various formats including:
MIP’s dynamic questionnaires enable customers to define their own questionnaires, complete with the power of on-line processing.
These may be used to capture, validate and store information in real time, and immediately feed this into the Workflow system to orchestrate complex business processes without relying on human and paper based controls.