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Minister of Finance seemingly not interested in placing the Government Employee Pension Fund under the protection of the Pension Funds Adjudicator

The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, avoided a parliamentary question posed by the FF Plus regarding the protection of the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF), by placing it under the jurisdiction of the Pension Funds Adjudicator, by simply stating that the Act does not make provision for it, says Adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus. (Please see the question and answer below).

According to adv Alberts, the Minister’s answer seems to indicate that he is not interested in placing the GEPF under the jurisdiction and protection of the Pension Funds Adjudicator.

Adv Alberts asked the Minister whether he is prepared to place the GEPF under the jurisdiction of the Pension Funds Adjudicator and if not, how this decision can be justified in terms of the principles of fairness and the Constitution.

Adv Alberts also enquired about the protection of the fund in the absence of oversight by the Adjudicator.

“The Minister bluntly answered that die current legislation does not make provision for the Adjudicator to have jurisdiction over the pension fund.

The Minister’s short, meaningless answer needs to be read in the context of the pressure that is being put on Dr Dan Matjila, executive director of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), to invest some of the GEPF’s funds in state-owned entities, which will only open up the GEPF’s purse to even more plundering.

“On the 14th of June this year, the vice-president stated that it would be a good idea to place the GEPF under the jurisdiction of the Pension Funds Adjudicator in response to a question that I put to him orally.

“Clearly the Minister does not share his sentiments. The FF Plus will submit follow-up questions regarding the matter to the Minister,” says adv Alberts.

 

Contact numbers: 082 391 3117 / 065 801 7216

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NUMBER: 2691 [NW2998E]
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08 September2017
2691. Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Finance:
Whether he is prepared to place all public service pension funds, including the pension funds of state enterprises, under the jurisdiction of the Pension Funds Adjudicator in order to ensure transparent management and cheap adjudication; if not, (a) how will this decision be justified in terms of the principles of fairness and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and (b) to what extent will pension fund members enjoy protection in the absence of oversight by the Pension Funds Adjudicator; if so, what are the (i) relevant details and (ii) time lines? NW2998E

REPLY:

The Pension Funds Act, 24 of 1956 as it stands does not make provision for the Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator to have jurisdiction over pension funds other than those registered in accordance with the Act.

 

 

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