Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has appointed an advisory board to the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) for a three-year term, the finance ministry said on Friday. Photographer: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has appointed an advisory board to the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) for a three-year term, the finance ministry said on Friday. Photographer: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Mboweni names board to advise on pensions

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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FINANCE Minister Tito Mboweni has appointed an advisory board to the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) for a three-year term, the finance ministry said on Friday.

The GPAA reports to the Minister of Finance and administers funds and schemes on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).

The Pension Funds Adjudicator, Muvhango Lukhaimane, has been named as the board’s chairperson.

The other appointees to the board are the deputy chairperson of the board of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, Maemili Ramataboe; a chief director: risk management in the Office of the Accountant-General, Beerson Baboojee; and Higgo du Toit, a retired public servant with a career that spans more than 43 years in various roles within the finance ministry.

“The advisory board will advise the minister on pension administration matters, the performance, governance and operations of the GPAA, and any specific issue that the minister may determine in writing,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The GPAA administers the pension affairs of about 1.7 million government employees, pensioners and the affairs of their spouses and dependants.

The appointment of the advisory board comes as the National Treasury has opposed the Pension Funds Amendment Bill that aims to make it possible for members of pension funds to borrow against their retirement savings.

In a presentation in May, the National Treasury said it was against the use of pension funds as a guarantee to obtain a loan, even if the guarantee was significantly less than the proposed 75 percent of the pension fund interest.

The Treasury said most retirement fund members were already overly indebted, and households debt was a staggering 77.1 percent of nominal disposable income last year, with household debt servicing at 8.5 percent of disposable income.

“Incurring further debt could have a significant impact upon members’ financial security over the long term, including into their retirement years,” said the National Treasury.

The recent 10X 2020 South African Retirement Realities Survey found that 49 percent of people surveyed said they did not have a retirement plan.

Meanwhile, the GEPF officially launched the Government Employees Pension Ombud (GEPO) on July 1, with advocate Makhado Ramabulana as the ombud.

The GEPO, which is an independent internal structure of the GEPF, has been set up to deal with administrative complaints against the GEPF from its members, pensioners and beneficiaries.

“The purpose of the GEPO is to facilitate, investigate, determine and resolve complaints lodged by members, pensioners and beneficiaries of the GEPF in a fair, impartial and timely manner,” said the chairperson of the GEPF, Dr Renosi Mokate.

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