NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Engineering surplus – another setback

31 July 2004, Posted in News

Writing about the engineering surplus is like climbing up a muddy mountain. You put one step forward only to slide two steps backwards.

The last Numsa News had good news to report. This Numsa News does not.

Last time we reported that employers had agreed to follow the Pension Funds Amendment Act. This time, they have changed their minds again.

Their real worry is that the Pension Funds Amendment Act will not let them put their grubby paws on the unclaimed benefits that are left after the surplus has been paid out. They are sticking to their position that the metal industry funds fall under the Labour Relations Act and so they must get a share.

The trustees of the Funds wrote to the registrar of pension funds and asked him to intervene.

“He told us that we have until September 30 to submit details of how we will distribute the surplus,” says Thulani Mthiyane, Numsa’s engineering sector co-ordinator. “If we fail to do that, he will take us to court, demand that the trustees of the Fund are dismissed and a tribunal appointed in our place.”

And the trouble doesn’t end there. At court, worker trustees will have the opportunity to defend themselves as to why they have not distributed the surplus. This could open up another case in the High Court to clarify whether the funds fall under the Labour Relations Act or the Pension Funds Amendment Act.

Whichever way it goes, don’t expect to see an advertisement in the newspapers calling for members of the Metal Industry pension and provident funds to come forward and claim their surplus. The way things are moving now, we are at the bottom of that muddy mountain!