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Positiewe tekens na VF Plus bal aan die rol sit om staatsdiens se pensioenfondse te beskerm

Nadat die VF Plus adjunkpresident Cyril Ramaphosa verlede maand in die parlement versoek het om stappe te neem om die staatsdiens se pensioenfondse te beskerm, blyk dit uit parlementêre vrae van die VF Plus aan die minister van finansies, Malusi Gigaba, dat die bal reeds aan die rol gesit is om aan hieraan uitvoering te gee.

Verdere goeie nuus is die minister se antwoord op ‘n vraag van adv. Anton Alberts, voorsitter van die VF Plus, dat die staatsdiens-pensioenfonds ten volle befonds is en al sy verpligtinge teenoor pensioenarisse kan nakom. (Volledige vrae en antwoorde hierby aangeheg).

In antwoord op ‘n vraag oor die stappe wat die minister doen om pensioenfondse te beskerm wat deur die staat en staatsbeheerde ondernemings beheer word, is die antwoord dat die nasionale tesourie reeds ondersoek daarna ingestel het om alle staatsdiens-pensioenfondse onder die beheer van die Pensioenfondswet te plaas.

Adv. Alberts sê dit sal beteken dat lede toegang sal hê tot die beregtiger vir pensioensfondse wat kan ingryp en gratis ondersoeke doen na enige onreëlmatighede om lede se belange te beskerm.

“Die VF Plus sal voortgaan om hierdie saak te dryf en ons is vol hoop dat die stappe spoedig in werking gestel sal word. Ons vra dat die staatsdiens-pensioenfonds en alle ander fondse, insluitende Transnet se fondse, onder die Pensioenfondswet sal val sodat die pensioenfondsberegtiger toeganklik sal wees vir fondslede.

“Dit was juis die probleem met die twee gestroopte Transnetfondse wat tans in ‘n regstryd teen Transnet gewikkel is dat die pensioenfondsberegtiger nie enige jurisdiksie gehad oor die fondse gehad het nie.

“Alle fondslede sal ‘n groot sug van verligting kan slaak wanneer hierdie planne realiseer. Die VF Plus sal alles in sy vermoë doen om toe te sien dat dit wel spoedig ‘n werklikheid word,” sê adv. Alberts.

 

Kontaknommers: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NUMBER: 1985 [NW2197E]

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23 JUNE 2017

 

1985. Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Finance:†

What steps he is taking to protect pension funds which are controlled by the State and State-Owned Enterprises against abuse and to ensure that pensioners receive their rightful pension, especially seen in view of those members of the Government Employees Pension Fund who do not have access to the Pension Funds Adjudicator?

NW2197E

REPLY:

Government has since 2011 stepped up its retirement reform programme and the aim of such reform is to ensure that we maximise and protect the interest of all retirement funds and their members. The reform aims to protect the funds and their members from high and opaque charges, poor governance and poor investment decisions or approaches that can benefit more the industry and not members. This process is ongoing and impacts on both State and private retirement funds.

In the 2013 Budget, as part of our retirement reform proposals, the National Treasury indicated the importance of bringing all public sector retirement funds under the purview of the Pension Funds Act (“PFA”), subject to financial feasibility. This approach would enable uniform regulation and supervision under the Financial Services Board, and access to free dispute resolution institutions like the Pension Funds Adjudicator for members of such public sector retirement funds.

There are a few State pension funds that fall outside of the PFA, these are the Government Employees Pension Fund (“GEPF”), Transport Pension Fund, Transnet Retirement Fund, Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund, Post Office Pension Fund and Telkom Pension Fund. Of these, only the GEPF falls directly under the Ministry of Finance. The other public sector funds fall under the ambit of the Ministers of Transport, Telecommunications and Postal Services, and Public Enterprises, even though the Minister of Finance does have an indirect role regarding any decisions that may have financial implications. However, all these State funds that are not covered by the PFA generally have a Board (of trustees), whose duty it is to protect the members and the fund.

With the exception of GEPF and Transnet, Telkom and the Post Office have also established Defined Contribution retirement funds that are registered under the PFA, while the ‘old’ (Defined Benefit) funds are closed to new members. This means that the main challenge with protecting retirement funds remains with funds that fall outside the PFA.

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NUMBER: 1983 [NW2195E]

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23 JUNE 2017

 

1983. Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Finance:†

Whether the Government Employees Pension Fund has enough money to fulfill its obligations in respect of its existing and future members; if not, (a) why not and (b) what are the full details of the steps he will take to ensure that the Government Employees Pension Fund is properly funded; if so, what are the relevant details? NW2195E

REPLY:

The Fund is currently fully funded.

There is therefore no action required from the Minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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