Legal Articles and Guides
The R42bn in unpaid benefits owed to more than four million South African pensioners is ‘a fundamental failure’ of public interest by state regulators and pension fund administrators, a year-long investigation by Open Secrets has concluded, according to a Daily Maverick report.
Trustees of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund, which is locked in an R100bn class action against state-owned logistics company, have in principle agreed to a settlement offer, Beeld reports.
Impoverished Transnet pensioners are considering a new settlement offer in the class action brought against the government and Transnet for allegedly plundering the Second Defined Benefit Fund, Beeld reports.
The SCA has ruled against an insurer in a dispute over a payment made to a deceased beneficiary. The Cape Times reports that the FundsAtWork Umbrella Pension Fund had allocated 42% of member Massimiliano Guarnieri's death benefits to his mother without first checking if she was alive.
With a court date set for 7 October, Transnet has re-entered discussions with aggrieved pensioners who are claiming more than R80bn in a class action suit, Beeld reports. Previous settlement negotiations failed and Transnet has raised several legal hurdles over the years to prevent the class action.
The former life partner of a man killed in a car accident has won her battle against Absa Pension Fund, which had allocated his entire death benefit worth more R1m to his mother. This was despite the fact that the complainant – identified as JT Damoense – was a 50% beneficiary on the man’s nomination form.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's office stepped in after a father ignored a court order stating he should support his child. The father has now had R300 000 taken from his pension fund to cover years of outstanding child support payments and future maintenance costs. Mkhwebane's office said it had decided to step in after the mother complained that the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA) had failed to comply with maintenance court orders to pay the amount from the father's pension fund, notes TimesLIVE.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ruled in favour of a retirement fund and its administrator, overturning a determination by the Pension Funds Adjudicator, after a member complained to the adjudicator that he had received less than his expected pension payout because the fund had changed the rules on how the payouts were calculated.
It is technically legal for one person to earn millions to manage a pension fund, and there is no obligation to use that money to benefit the pensioners who invested in that fund – as long as a court sanctions such a deal. A Saturday Star report says this was the SCA’s conclusion when ruling on a case accusing attorney Anthony Mostert of charging exorbitant fees for one of the 10 pension funds under his curatorship.
The Constitutional Court yesterday gave thousands of Transnet pensioners welcome relief when approving their claim to recover billions owed to them, notes Legalbrief. In 2013‚ 60 000 pensioners instituted a class action against the Transport Pension Fund‚ the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transnet based on a promise made to them in 1989 that they would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial entity‚ Transnet‚ as they did under the state entity that employed them until then‚ the SA Transport Services (SATS) and its two pension funds.
About 60 000 Transnet pensioners have pinned their hopes on the Constitutional Court as they seek to proceed with a class action to seek billions from two pension funds. A TimesLIVE report notes that yesterday, the court heard their appeal against a Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) order from last year. Transnet pension fund recipients brought a lawsuit against the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transnet in the High Court last year.
In what a report in The Mercury calls a ground-breaking judgment for couples married in community of property but divorced, the Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that pensions fall into their joint estate and form part of half of the assets each party would receive. Pretoria divorce lawyer Selwyn Shapiro said that prior to this judgment, there were conflicting judgments as to whether or not a pension interest automatically fell into a joint estate if the parties were married in community of property.
A corrupt procurement officer formerly in the employ of a food company in Lambertâ€™s Bay, who was due for retirement in December after 44 years service, has forfeited half of his R2m pension benefits as compensation for the companyâ€™s R2.6m loss, says a report on the IoL site. In addition, Daniel Jacobus Poggenpoel (63), a married father of four, was jailed for five years when he appeared in Cape Town's Specialised Commercial Crime Court before Magistrate Constance Nziweni yesterday.
A brother and sister went to court after their wealthy father made his caregiver a beneficiary in his will, effectively freezing them out of inheriting for 15 years, says a Cape Times report. The consequence of the decision by the late Jacobus Grimbeek was that his children would have to wait out the stipulated period before they could inherit from him.