Fin24

Freedom Front Plus to take on Transnet

2012-07-20 17:09

Johannesburg - Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) preparations for a class action against Transnet and its two pension funds are "at an advanced stage", its parliamentary spokesman Anton Alberts said on Friday.

"We are still waiting for information from the pension funds to finalise the application," he said in a statement.

The party planned to bring the application next month to force Transnet to implement annual increases equivalent to inflation, to compensate pensioners for a decade of below-inflation payments and to ensure the funds were sustainable.

Earlier this week the FF Plus sent legal letters to Transnet for information about its two pension funds, said Alberts.

The party sought the minutes of all meetings held since 1994, and all financial statements.

Transnet has two pension funds: the Transnet Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Pension Fund.

These were created in 2000 from a predecessor fund with a history of financial hardship.

Since their inception, the pension funds had increased benefits by just 2% per year, well below the inflation rate. Over the years many pensioners had fallen into poverty as a result of the low increases.

"We are... working as fast as possible on the case given the desperate position of the pensioners," Alberts said.

"As soon as the application has been submitted we will be informing everybody, and also launch public protest action (on behalf) of the pensioners."

In 2010 Parliament instructed Transnet and the National Treasury to inject R1.9bn into the pension funds.

The funds would then pay out five months' worth of pension payments and increase payments by a base amount of 3.21%.

From that point, annual increases would be 75% of the consumer inflation rate. Both Transnet and the Treasury had previously agreed these increases were affordable, Alberts said.

Subsequently, the Treasury had said it had not budgeted for the funding instruction and could not afford it.

Last year, Transnet told Parliament it could afford an annual increase of only between 63% and 68% of consumer inflation.

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Comments
  • allan.boock - 2012-07-20 17:30

    Both the NP and ANC are resposible for this mess.

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-07-20 18:36

    It's time to also take on the government employees fund. Also below inflation increases and now they 'invested' R17 billion in SANRAL. We can kiss that money goodbye!

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-20 19:04

    63-68% , Dis Goed genoeg.

  • Julie - 2012-07-20 19:26

    Typical - when government officials want/need money for their own agendas (luxury cars, homes, expensive hotel accommodation, overseas trips, R100-million for a so-called "youth conference," parties,et al), treasury is only too ready, willing and able to fall over backwards to come up with such funds, adding to that, the already over-inflated salaries of fatcat gravy-train riders, but we Railway pensioners who developed and built and maintained the rail system to become the backbone of our once-thriving economy, have been shoved aside and are expected to eke out a meagre existence on the few crumbs tossed to us from the overladen tables of those who never did a day's work to earn what they are earning by whatever means, foul or fair. Sleep on that, fatcats...

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-20 19:39

      GDP tripled over the last 8 years ....Economy is growing faster than it ever did in History. International Indices and figures don't lie.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-07-20 20:04

      @victor.tamaranui - p'haps you do not grasp the fact that GDP doesn't influence pensionable income. Interest rates do. So if you retired when the interest rate was 11% and the rate is now 5%, your retirement income has shrunk whilst living costs (allegedly) have escalated by 56% in the last year alone.

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