A first step towards justice for South African pensioners

A first step towards justice for South African pensioners

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Between 2007 and 2013, more than 6,000 pension funds in South Africa were cancelled in a process littered with errors and oversights. Today, Open Secrets has written to five of the country’s largest pension fund administrators to demand swift action to reinstate pension funds that have been incorrectly cancelled. This is the first of many necessary steps of ensuring accountability for a shameful decade in pension fund administration that has harmed many vulnerable pensioners.

The regulatory body that is meant to protect South Africans from unscrupulous financial service providers is the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) — South Africa’s new market conduct regulator.

On 4 March 2019, the FSCA took an important first step in ensuring that thousands of pensioners and their dependents will be paid what is owed to them. While it comes 10 years after errors were first identified, the FSCA has now issued directives (in the form of a circular, which can be found here) to all pension fund administrators (companies such as Liberty and Alexander Forbes) to urgently reinstate pension funds.

Specifically, these corporations must go to court to undo the cancellation where a fund has been erroneously deregistered before 1 April 2018. Legally, only courts can reinstate these incorrectly cancelled funds.

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