GEPFBL Premium reports that the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has informed its more than 1-million members in the public service that they cannot access their pension funds while they are still working.

The fund said in a notice to members that it was responding to the many queries it had received after the publication of a private members’ bill by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Dion George that proposed that employees should be allowed to use their pension funds as collateral for loans. The fact the GEPF had to respond to numerous queries is said to indicate the interest generated by the proposal. George motivated his bill on the grounds that the Covid-19 pandemic has driven many people into poverty and destitution while they have an asset accumulated in their pension fund that they could use to ameliorate their situation. But, unlike some private sector pension funds, the GEPF also does not allow pensions to be used as security for a mortgage bond. “As it now stands, the GEPF does not allow any withdrawal from the pension fund while employed. It does not allow cash advances or loans from the fund as the fund is not a regulated financial service provider, which means it would be against the law to allow loans from the GEPF,” the fund advised. The GEPF also said it and the Department of Public Service & Administration were concerned that people did not understand the long-term consequences of depleting retirement funding.


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