The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has been inundated with enquiries from Union members who wanted to know when they will be able to loan R150 000 from their pension fund investment at the Transnet Retirement Fund (TRF).
Hendrik Fourie, President of UNTU who serves on the Board of Trustees of the Transnet Retirement Fund, says that this proposal has never been considered nor has the Task Team dealing with formalising the proposed pension backed home loans that needs to be submitted to the Board of Transnet for approval, investigated loans from the TFR to service debt.
“This is misinformation that was circulated nationwide in WhatsApp voice notes and in a circular letter of a rival Union is “FALSE”. It is simply impossible to make a promise now that this will be allowed soon.
“The Transnet Retirement Fund is governed by the Transnet Retirement Fund Act. There is a lot of legal provisions that the Transnet Retirement Fund will have to adhere to before it can apply to Parliament to make amendments to the Transnet Retirement Fund Act to allow Transnet employees to make loans and/or do withdrawals against their pension fund.
“The fund will have to apply to be registered as a deposit taking institution with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) to adhere to the provisions of the Banking Act,” says Fourie.
According to him UNTU members confuse the Transnet Retirement Fund Act with the proposed amendment of the Pension Funds Act that Organised Labour are pushing for.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was silent on the way forward for the Pension Funds Amendment Bill of 2020 that would allow workers to partially access their retirement savings in cash.
One of the proposals is to allow workers to use up to 75% of their retirement saving as security for any bank loan, and not just mortgages.
In the Budget Review booklet, National Treasury said Government continues to engage with Trade Unions, Regulators, and other Stakeholders about this.
Fourie says UNTU members must take note that any amendments to the Pension Fund Act will have no bearing on them as the Transnet Retirement Fund is governed by its own Act.
Fourie and UNTU’s Vice-President Trevor Wasserfall serves on a Task Team of all stakeholders that will formalise the logistics of the proposals to amend the rules of the Transnet Retirement Fund to allow Transnet employees to obtain pension backed surety to obtain home and/or other loans.
“UNTU is well aware of the hardship and dire financial situation of all its members that was worsened by the global Covid-19 pandemic and continues to drive these proposals as a matter of urgency,” says Fourie.
The Task Team is waiting for a date to be finalised for its next meeting. It held its first meeting on 21 January 2021 where Wasserfall was appointed Vice-Chairperson of the meeting.
Peet Maritz, Principal Officer of the Transnet Retirement Fund, says that after the Task Team managed to identify a third party and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the proposal must be submitted to the Board to approve before any Rules of the Transnet Retirement Fund can be amended to allow Transnet employees to obtain the surety from the Fund.
For more clarity about the work of the Task Team, please contact any of the following UNTU Representatives:-
President: Hendrik Fourie – 083 283 7482 or e-mail email@example.com
Vice-President: Trevor Wasserfall – 071 362 6219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Councillor: Wielligh Meyer – 063 687 3661 or email email@example.com
FTUR: Luvuyo Mdyogolo – 071 363 6988 / 062 009 2142
or e-mail Luvuyo.Mdyogolo@transnet.net
UNTU will continue to keep its members abreast of any developments on this matter.