Auto industry pays out pension surpluses

Tue, 24 Feb 2009

South Africa's motor industry has begun paying out R150-million in pension fund surpluses to employees and former employees across the country.

"It seems like just yesterday that the dark cloud kept everyone guessing over many years as to who qualified and when the pension fund surplus pay-outs would ever begin," said National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) spokesperson Mziwakhe Hlangani.

Hlangani said a total of 41 000 metalworkers had begun receiving the surplus cash payments, ranging between R2 000 and R70 000 each, from the Motor Industry Fund Administrators (Mifa).

"Some who never believed that they would ever get paid began earning the pension surplus in December 2008, as Mifa has effectively paid up R150-million to date."

Mifa actuaries have computed surplus valuations to the amount of R500-million for about two million motor industry employees, said Numsa national benefits co-ordinator Sam Tsiane.

Tsiane said the data collection, assessment and verifications in the motor industry fund were almost reaching finality, as more industry workers came forward to submit their claims.

The next phase would involve further searches for those qualifying members who could not be contacted, before another pay-out evaluation was conducted by the fund.

The surplus legislation was passed in 7 December 2001, and the pension funds had to go back to 1 January 1980 - tracing former members across the country who were entitled to claim the unexpected lump sums of the pension surplus.

Sapa

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