The United National Transport Union (UNTU) supports Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s promise to prioritise the process to amend legislation to allow indebted workers to withdraw a portion of their pension savings to service dept and relief the financial burden.


The Minister undertook to meet with National Treasury to establish where the delays in the process are and to speed up the process. He believes workers should be allowed to make withdrawals, provided that the money is spent responsibily by for example relieving outstanding bonds.


The adjustment of the Covid-19 lockdown level prevented Parliament from finalising proposed amendments to the Pension Fund Act as it was bound to do. Parliament must decide on proposed amendments to the Pension Fund Act to allow for cash withdrawals from members pension money.


These amendments to the Pension Fund Act will guide the process of the Transnet task team on what amendment is needed on the Transnet Retirement Fund Act. The TRF is regulated by the Transnet Retirement Fund Act and this Act will need to be amended by Parliament to allow for cash withdrawals before it can be done.


Any amendments to both acts will also be subjected to the draft Conduct of Financial Institutions (COFI) Bill.


The COFI Bill aims to significantly streamline the legal landscape for conduct regulation in the financial sector, and to give legislative effect to the market conduct policy approach. The Bill establishes binding principles that reflect the outcomes that the financial sector will be expected to meet. This Bill has not yet been approved,” says Hendrik Fourie, President of UNTU.


Fourie says it is still early days as there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, but with the support of the Minister there is light at the end of the tunnel.


According to Fourie, an actuary was appointed to submit the final report on the proposed pension backed home loans (pension backed surety) to the Board of Trustees of the Transnet TRF on 26 August 2021.


Peet Maritz, Principal Officer of the TRF, says if the trustees approve the final presentation, it will be submitted to Transnet to present it to the Board of Transnet for approval.


This can be implemented after the Board approved as the proposed amendments to the Rules of the TRF. The pension backed home loans will allow Transnet employees to provide the surety to a specified bank when they buy a home or if they want to do home improvements.


UNTU will continue to keeps its members abreast of developments.

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