Today's Labour News

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retirementRosemary Hunter, former deputy registrar of pension funds, writes that the scale of unpaid amounts due to members of the public by retirement and other funds represents a national crisis.  

In 2016 pension and provident funds registered in terms the Pension Funds Act (PFA) were holding unclaimed benefits with an aggregate value of about R41.7bn.  That did not include unpaid benefits of retirement funds not subject to the PFA, such as the Government Employees Pension Fund and the Transnet funds.  Then there are also unpaid benefits due by medical schemes, bargaining council and union benefit funds, dormant bank deposits and unpaid proceeds of insurance policies and investments in investment funds.  Furthermore, there are unpaid amounts due by the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Road Accident Fund and funds for the compensation of occupational injuries and diseases, in addition to maintenance payments held by the Department of Justice and amounts held by the Guardian’s Fund.  Hunter says the problem demands substantive measures to tackle it, but no one institution alone has the power and capacity properly to do this.  She argues that new institutions, new regulatory measures and greater collaboration between various interested parties including the state, regulators and the private sector are needed.  In particular, a national register of all unpaid amounts due to the public is needed.  This article goes on to suggest how such institutions could be set up and work.


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