News Column

No plans to nationalise pensions - government

August 22, 2014

MINISTER in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has acknowledged that the government could have communicated better its plans to introduce retirement savings reform.

This comes after an apparent rash of resignations by people who appeared to believe they needed to save their pensions from the government's clutches.

Last week, Cosatu raised the issue of workers resigning in the belief that the government was about to nationalise pension and provident funds.

The topic also hotly featured on social media and talk radio.

Yesterday, during a briefing on this week's cabinet discussions, Radebe said: "From the government's side, I don't think we communicated this thing appropriately."

The cabinet had now asked Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to launch an "aggressive" awareness campaign to explain and allay concerns.

"There's no intention on the side of government to nationalise these things. I want to put it emphatically: no, no, no.

"What we want to do is to encourage a culture of saving."

National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat confirmed a recent rise in cash-outs from the Government Employees Pension Fund.

Cautioning that it usually took two to three months after resignation for the fund to receive such instructions, he acknowledged citizens' concerns: "We are getting lots of phone calls. We are getting lots of queries. There is clearly a great discomfort."

Cape Argus

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Source: Cape Argus (South Africa)

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