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Pension Funds
Sunday, January 1, 1989
Working together

Trade unions have joined with government officials to investigate and develop suitable retirement provision for South African workers
After 19 gruelling months, the government finally accepted a recommendation by the Meiring Committee to set up a representative committee to investigate retirement provision.
Called the Mouton Committee, after the chairman Wynand Mouton, rector of the University of the OFS, it represents employer and employee bodies.
Workers and trade unions have, for a long time, expressed their wish to have some say in the distribution of pension funds. But very often members of the organised labour force declined to participate in any attempts to address this issue. Although there is not full involvement by trade unions, at least there are five union representatives on the committee.
Says Professor Mouton, “It is hoped that we will have full representation in the near future, and we are working towards this.”
The committee held its first meeting in Bloemfontein on November 21 1988. Its mandate was discussed and working groups were formed to investigate and report back on certain issues by February 1989.
The main aim of the committee is to define guiding principles for the development of a suitable retirement system for the people of South Africa. Immediate issues to be addressed are:
• alternative models for long term retirement provision;
• the means test;
• unemployment benefits; and,
• the social old age pension pay out process.
Gerhard van Niekerk, GM employee benefits of Old Mutual, addressed the meeting. He said it was important that all parties involved, namely: the individual, employers, and the state, be included in the discussions and that their needs and constraints alike be taken into account.
Mr Van Niekerk also pointed out that South Africa has a young population which needs access to employment opportunities and to adequate retirement provision.
The percentage of persons over age 64 is expected to increase from 3,8% to 5,1% of the total population between the years 1980 and 2015. That is to say from R1,1m to R3m people. This will obviously increase the cost of social old age pensions dramatically. “Therefore,” says Mr Van Niekerk, “the process of building towards the desired goals of the committee must take into account, and not inhibit, other major positive trends and issues shaping the future of South Africa.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:2.1 1st January, 1989
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