Joe Molusi recently sat down with Caroline Maswanganyi, Numsa benefits assistant, to discuss the further implementation of surplus pension and provident fund payouts to former and current Numsa members.
Joe Molusi: About R27-billion will be distributed among the members of the Engineering Pension Fund and the Metal Industry Provident Fund.
How will this exercise unfold for the membership as a whole?
Caroline Maswanganyi: My understanding is that the members will be paid in three categories: current members, former members and pensioners, just the last Numsa News published on its front page.
JM: Current members will have 30% of the current value added to the retirement value, while former members will get 30% of the withdrawal value.
Can members estimate what they can expect from this formula in simple language?
CM: Yes, it is possible for members to estimate how much they will receive if the member knows how much they withdrew from their retirement fund or how much they currently have in the fund.
JM: I undersSince this interview was held with Caroline Maswtand that 30% of the current retirement value to be added on retirement, but you knows our members – they like to talk about actuals, they do not trust percentages.
They also like to fantasise about the estimates.
We are aware of the complexity of this matter, but can you really estimate this percentage?
CM: If a member left the industry and had R1 000, we are going to give that member 30% of that money.
Normally the money is calculated by the actuaries of the fund.
The actuaries will know exactly how much that will be, because of the information at his or her disposal.
JM: Will this be tax-free?
CM: The payout will be taxed, and I don’t think there will be any room for mistakes (discrepancies) as we are working hand in hand with the Financial Services Board and everything seems to be working out fine.
JM: But can you imagine the build-up from 1998 to now?
CM: Yes, I can, and many people must have begun to doubt that the surplus will be paid out.
JM: This has been preached to members for more than a decade now. Is it really coming?
CM: Yes, it is. The pensioners were paid their lump sum in April.
I confirmed this with the CEO of the Metal Industry Provident Fund.
Some pensioners confirmed that they received their payments and asked us if they can use them and if the money is legitimately theirs.
Three members from Cape Town called to inquire if the money was from the surplus.
JM: Can we say that you are sticking to your time frame as it appeared on the front page of the last edition of Numsa News?
CM: As far as pensioners is concerned, we stuck to our time frame, but we don’t need to look for metal industry pensioners as they are on our system, unlike former members, which we had to look for.
There are those who are came from neighboring countries to work here, we had to trace all those members.
JM: What about members who were dismissed, retrenched or resigned during the three months leading to the calculations for the current members, those who become former members overnight?
CM: That is why we have given directives that all members must fill in the application form and send it to us.
We want to have every member’s information in our data base. Some members use the address of the company that they work for.
That becomes a problem when we need to trace such a member. We are encouraging every member to apply even if they are still employed.
JM: Is there anything else that you would like to convey to the members out there?
CM: I would encourage all former members to contact the Metal Industry Provident Fund to enquire if there is any surplus due to them.
We still have a lot of members who have not applied.
But remember that if you are currently employed and a member of the metal industries provident fund, your share of the surplus goes into your fund credit. You will not get a cash payout!
Hundreds of people continue to queue every day at the Metal Industries Provident Fund office in 42 Anderson Street, Johannesburg. Some come from as far as KZN and Limpopo.
They are coming to find out if they are owed any surplus. 20 000 people a day are calling the Call Centre and this makes it difficult for people to get a quick answer.
Workers are spending R20 airtime and they still can’t speak to anyone because the lines are so busy.
Numsa appeals to all ex-members – please visit your nearest Numsa office Click here for more details and ask them to phone for you to find out if you qualify for the surplus.
OR phone Caroline Maswanganyi at Numsa head office on 011 689 1700 or e-mail her on CarolineM@numsa.org.za or on 078 183 4890.
When you contact MIBFA/NUMSA please make sure you have the following documents on hand
• Old and new identity document number
• Any document e.g. benefit statement, membership card or pay slip
• Telephone or cellphone number
• Postal address and street address
Let us know your experiences.