She is also involved in financial education (both from a national strategy perspective as well as a competency framework perspective). Due to her interest and research in the field of financial education, Bernadene is also a member of the OECD/INFE Research Committee on financial education. In addition to the financial wellness and financial education interests, due to her core discipline of taxation as a chartered accountant, Bernadene is further interested in the interaction between social policy and tax policy, which aligns closely with CHASM’s Professor Andy Lymer, her host for the two week period.
Bernadene is keen to undertake joint comparative research between South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) as a large proportion of South African legislation in both the financial services sector as well as taxation originated in the United Kingdom. She has previously conducted research in the UK including the Wealth and Asset Survey, with Ms Andrea Finney from the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol. From the original quantitative study conducted in 2011, several learnings and challenges have resulted in Wave 7 currently being conducted.
The seminar that Bernadene presented to CHASM on 4th July combined two topics - the first part of the presentation focused on the recent and current retirement reforms in South Africa in the broader sense providing background to the pension system and what the Government is aiming to do to address the aging population issue and other challenges in the country in relation to later-life financing. The second part addressed what has done within the tax system to try and simplify tax in relation to retirement and pensions, indicating some of the challenges experienced in this process and how these were overcome.
This work will be taken forward by Andy and Bernadene for a paper they will be presenting together at an event in South Africa in October, addressing various aspects of tax simplification. The paper will then be published in a book on this subject in early 2019.