Solidarity calls for civil servant pension review, launches GEPF class action on behalf of 1.2m

From News24

Pretoria – Trade union Solidarity has served court papers on the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) for unlawfully amending the formula for calculating employees’ preservation fund payouts at the time of resignation.

solidarityDeputy chief executive Johan Kruger told reporters at a press briefing that civil servants who intended to or had already resigned after the unilateral amendment of the formula took effect on April 1 2015 have lost benefits worth thousands.

“Among (other) things, Solidarity has registered a class action on behalf of more than 1.2 million civil servants and would consequently hold the GEPF liable for the unilateral amendments made to the formula. The GEPF application Solidarity is bringing before the court is a major lawsuit and is probably the first of its kind,” said Kruger.

He said no proper consultation process was taken, and added Solidarity would demand that those who resigned be compensated as if the previous formula still applied.

“The GEPF has confirmed through correspondence to Solidarity that it did not consult with organised labour before amending the
actuarial factors in the formula. The GEPF has admitted to having breached its own rules in this regard, but sees the cost involved in rectifying the situation as too hefty,” said Kruger.

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He said the union’s application would take place in two parts, starting with an application for permission to launch a class action on behalf of all GEPF members.

There would also be an application for review of the decision to unilaterally amend the actuarial interest factors without consultation with the minister and labour.

“We want them to revert back to the factors used in the formula prior to April 1 2015 (and) recalculate the resignation and death benefits paid to members from April 1 and payment of the difference within 60 days,” he said. – News24

Source: http://www.fin24.com/Economy/solidarity-takes-gepf-to-court-over-fund-calculations-20160511

Solidarity media statement

At a press conference today, trade union Solidarity announced that it served court papers on the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) at the High Court. This comes after the GEPF had unlawfully and without consultation amended the formula in terms of which officials’ actuarial interest at the time of resignation are calculated.

According to Solidarity Deputy Chief Executive Johan Kruger, those civil servants who intend to or who have already resigned after the unilateral amendment of the formula took effect have lost benefits worth thousands.

Among other things, Solidarity has registered a class action on behalf of more than 1.2 million civil servants and would consequently hold the GEPF liable for the unilateral amendments made to the formula. “The GEPF application Solidarity is bringing before the court is a major lawsuit and is probably the first of its kind. We contend that a proper consultation process, as required under the rules of the fund, has not been followed, and therefore Solidarity’s lawsuit against the GEPF would be to the benefit of all civil servants,” Kruger said.

“In addition, Solidarity will demand that persons who have resigned since the unilateral amendment be compensated as if the previous formula still applied and that moratory interest be payable on this amount,” Kruger said.

Solidarity is also demanding that the change made to the formula by which civil servants’ pension benefit is calculated be reviewed.

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