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Pension surplus query

Jan 30 2013 07:26


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A Fin24 user wonders if he is still entitled to part of a possible pension surplus of the now defunct Trust Bank. He writes:

With regards to the above, I recently perused an article on your website on Standard Bank and any possible top-ups.

My concern revolves around my employment with the now defunct Trust Bank (now part of Absa ).

I was notified in 2000 that they were proceeding to pay out those members who either resigned or were retrenched.

Unfortunately, in 2002 I was informed that there were no surpluses to disburse.

I also worked for Standard Bank, which also initially declared there were no surpluses, only to reconsider and say that there were funds available to disburse which I eventually received.

However in Trust Bank’s case, despite my attempts to contact their pension department they have prevaricated.

Can you kindly advise if they are still obliged to pay us? I only received my own contributions.

I am aware that Sanlam made illegal borrowings from the fund.

Richard Tyler, managing director of Simeka Consultants & Actuaries, responds:

In terms of the Fin24 user’s question as to whether Trust Bank is still obliged to pay him, I would suggest that he make a formal inquiry to the fund.

The law required every fund to do an investigation and where appropriate, to do a surplus apportionment exercise.

Whether or not a fund had surplus to distribute depended on the specifics of that fund.

A fund is legally required to respond to members' enquiries relating to a surplus and should they refuse/neglect to do so, they can be compelled by the adjudicator or even by the Financial Services Board.

The fact that he only received his own contributions points to a typical old style, defined benefit fund which operated in this fashion in the past. The law has since changed.

If membership was terminated before December 7 2001, the Fin24 user would unfortunately have missed out on the benefits of the new law.

We have no knowledge of any borrowing from the fund by Sanlam.

 - Fin24

*For more information, also read Pension surplus: get your own back.

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Under the ECT Act and to the fullest extent possible under the applicable law, Fin24 disclaims all responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this site in any manner.


 

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investing  |  retirement
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