Fin24

Transnet pension battle may be over

2010-10-31 11:11

Johannesburg - Pensioners of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund  (TSDBF) have possibly won their long battle for better increases.

Transnet acting chief executive Chris Wells told Sake24 last week that in future pensioners might receive inflation-linked pension increases.

Wells said the fund was actuarially strong enough to afford an inflation-liked increase of 75% of the inflation rate. Transnet, he said, was unfortunately unable to add money to improve the increase.

The process is currently under review by Treasury and parliament.

Sake24 understands that the process has been presented to parliament and Treasury because the possibility exists that government could make more money available to the fund to boost the increases.

The TSDBF is one of the biggest pension funds in South Africa. It's a closed pension fund with more than 80 000 members, all of whom are former Transnet workers who retired before or in 1990.

The average amount that TSDBF pensioners receive is R2 833 a month. They have for some time been unhappy because their annual increases have been limited to 2% a year.

For years these pensioners have been insisting on receiving inflation-linked increases.

Wells said parliament would ultimately determine when the new increases would come into effect.

Part of the success achieved in managing the fund was thanks to shifting 80% to 85% of the funds’ assets out of the stock market in order to ensure the fund’s stability.

These assets are now largely invested in structured bond portfolios to safeguard pensioners’ future pensions.

More good news for pensioners is that the trustees of the TSDBF recently announced a bonus would be paid out in November 2010. The amount would be 8.5% of members’ annual pensions.

Wells said on September 30 the TSDBF’s surplus had amounted to R2.9bn.

Since 2002 pensioners’ increases had been limited to 2% a year because the pension fund’s assets could not afford more. At one stage the fund was up to 25% under-capitalised – in other words, its assets were insufficient to guarantee future pensions.

After Transnet intervened, some of the fund’s assets had been sold to strengthen it.

The TSDBF then capped the annual increases, and subsequently making annual bonus payments. But bonuses were not guaranteed and there was no certainty of their being paid every year.

Since August 2008 the TSDBF trustees have been considering giving the pensioners inflation-linked increases.

One of the pensioners, a Mr Von Bekker, who has been a heavyweight activist over the years, protesting the low increases, said the pensioners wanted to see the increases before they believed them.

Many of the pensioners, he said, were eating dog and cat food as that was all they could afford. They had become impoverished over the years and that was Transnet’s fault.

The fund had become impoverished through mismanagement, for which he blamed Transnet.

- Sake24

For business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.

Comments
  • scud - 2010-10-31 13:00

    While pensioners were being screwed,Wells was earning R10m pa,and staff were given increases of 3 times the inflation rate. Can we presume there will be some executive sacrifice to ensure that pensioners receive back pay for all the years of exploitation? When will the public get wise to Transnet's profligacy?

  • alvin - 2010-11-01 07:16

    @ alvin-When it dawns on us that much of the R100b capex is not well controlled or essential

  • WYNAND - 2010-11-03 07:54

    We are pensioners. Due to my own ill health my wife can not work. We are 73 @ 65 respectively. Medical aid costs us 3600 p.m. for Transmed. We live with our son otherwise we can not survive. Presently we are R8000.00 in debt due to medical expenses that have not been paid. Maria Ramos.....How about a portion of the R2.9 million?

  • Gerda - 2010-11-30 15:22

    Al wat ek wil weet, gaan ons defnitief die "backpay" kry voor 15 Des soos belowe is. Kan iemand my miskien defnitief laat weet.

  • LOUIS - 2010-12-06 09:03

    Kan iemand my ook asb laat weet of ons nog die "payback" die 15 Des gaan kry? Hoekom is dit nou skielik so stil? 'n Mens sou dink ons arm pensionarisse sou minstens op hoogte gehou word. Daar is niemand "n mens kan bel om te hoor wat aangaan nie.

  • Mollie - 2010-12-06 15:41

    Can someone please tell me if there is going to be any Back pay to the pensioners of Transnet in the year 2010.

  • J. van Rensburg - 2010-12-09 06:45

    Yes, we would appreciate some feedback regarding the "payback" before 15 December - however, we pensioners have been sucking on the hind tit for years, and by the looks of it, we'll continue doing so - it's ironic that our generation developed and maintaned the rail system in this country over a period of 40+ years, while those who never got their hands dirty on a lathe or shovelled a lump of coal into a firebox are the ones reaping the benefits and hoping we'll all die very soon to be rid of us... As I said, we'll continue sucking on the hind tit.

  • Aletta Els - 2010-12-13 15:05

    My man is 72 jaar oud, ly aan Parkinsonisme en is glad nie gesond nie - hulle - die pensionarisse leef van 'n pensioen wat nie werd is om genoem te word nie - toe die belofte van die "back pay" op 15 Desember - nou is alles stil - kan iemand ons ander laat weet

  • Dawn - 2010-12-15 08:26

    I spoke to the Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg pension offices this morning to find out about the 'back pay' and they knew nothing about it. All they had heard about it came from the pensioners themselves enquiring about it. Looks like we have been hood winked once more by the powers that be.

  • Dawn - 2010-12-15 10:49

    I have since my previous note sent two e-mails to transnet requesting a response to the non-payment of the back pay, in the second I requested whether my enquiry warranted a response. They have not replied to either. I guess they have all taken their well deserved holidays and are not worried about their pensioners.

  • Jerry - 2010-12-16 17:32

    The information was received from the Repport Newspaper that the pensioners would receive 5 months back pay by 15 December 2010. This was not sucked out of our thumbs. This has caused many pensioners spending money they thought that they would receive. But we have now been informed that our Medical Aid has increased to R3733.00 per month with the annunal increase staying at 2%.It is strange that there is millions being spent on unnecessary celebrations at our expense.

  • Stella - 2010-12-16 18:14

    I got the information that we were going to receive 5 months salary by 15 December 2010. What has happened to that money as I am in dire straights & can not afford to live anymore at 73 years old.

  • Amanda Marais - 2010-12-21 11:54

    Die backpay is dit vir die weduwees ook. Ek kry al 17jaar van my oorlede man ma as hul se 15des ons is al by 21desember. Wanneer kry ons pens die jaar

  • Deon Thiart - 2010-12-22 10:50

    Ek dink dit is oneties om verwagtinge by ou mense in geldnood te skep.Die minste wat owerheid nou kan doen is om lig op die saak te werp. Meld slegs die waarheid aan ons ou mense en staak die volstruispolitiek asseblief. Die verhaal van hoe die staat ons pensioenfonds oor jare aangewend/bedryf het sal seker nooit vertel word nie.

  • aletta - 2010-12-28 15:11

    So wat is die verdere nuus in verband met die 5 maande pensioengeld nou? Die 15de is al laaaankal verby en niks het gebeur nie - het ons met leuenaars te make of wat? Het iemand dalk al weer iets gehoor?

  • marie - 2011-02-01 21:52

    Word pensioenarisse gepenaliseer vir ongelykhede van die verlede? Ons almal het almal geswoeg en gesweet 30, 40, jaar en langer voor sons opkoms tot donker, 36 ure aan diens Midlandia toe , voorsorg getref vir my oudag, die verontregtes was nie in my diens nie

  • Louis - 2011-02-03 21:49

    Soos ek vantevore genoem het,hierdie mense is ongelooflik arrogant. Mens maak nie beloftes en ignoreer dan die kwessie wanneer jy nie kan "deliver" nie. Dit is onprofessioneel en 'n teken van onbevoegdheid. Al waarin hulle belang stel is hul status simbool blink swart karre.

  • Hans de Beer - 2011-02-11 20:46

    All i want to know are we going to get the 5 month backpay and if so when?

  • Louis - 2011-02-12 20:05

    Kom ek bring julle bietjie op hoogte. Rapport het berig dat John Benwell gese het dat hulle van die begin gese het dat die datum van 15 Des 2010 nie haalbaar is nie. Wens hulle het ons ook so ingelig. Hy se verder dat ons die geld eers middel 2011 sal kry en dat ons eerder van die geld moet vergeet. Dis nou dieselfde Benwell wat veronderstel is om ons belange op die hart te dra. Dis genoeg om mens te laat stik! Dit was die laaste wat ek gehoor het. Ek het onlangs met 'n politikus gepraat en gevra dat sy vir ons moet uitvind wat aangaan en sodra ek iets hoor pos ek dit hier. Gegewe die arrogansie van die rol spelers glo ek nie ons moet ons asems ophou nie. Ek kan nie glo hulle kan so mors met arm,sieklike mense nie en indien dit in enige ander land was sou dit 'n nasionale skandaal wees. Ek glo die besluit nemers weet nie hoe dit voel om honger te wees nie. Ons is bedrieg en in die steek gelaat. Punt.

  • Louis - 2011-03-05 11:41

    as iemand ons op hoogte hou van wat hier aangaan sal dit nie nodig wees om kwaad te raak nie. Het hulle enige idee hoe desperaat ons is? Dit blyk nou dat ons vorige kommentaar hier verwyder is. Het ons 'n senuwee raak gepraat?

  • Jesse - 2012-03-16 23:11

    Can someone tell me why people like myself who is terminally ill with cancer and given up 37 years of my life for Transnet, has been dumped into the so called Risk Pool and just forgotten about.I get 75%of my salary of wich Tax, UIF,PENSION,MEDICAL AND HOUSING all get deducted wich leaves me and my wife with a salary of R55.00 for the month to live on.Our medical aid has gone up to R3900.00 wich I think is pethetic.What I would like to know is are we not also pensioners or are we being punished because I became ill.I don't know how Transnet can look anyone in the eyes and not feel guilty about the way they treat their people it's a disgrace SIS.

  • Louis Jordaan - 2013-11-10 10:02

    When can we expect a decent increase it has been 2% per annum for ages now and with the inflation rate we just cannot survive

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