Pensions for Members of Non-Statutory Forces; Government Employees Pensions Law Amendment Bill; Special Pensions Amendment Bill:

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Finance Standing Committee

02 September 2003
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Meeting report

FINANCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

FINANCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
3 September 2003
PENSIONS FOR MEMBERS OF NON-STATUTORY FORCES; GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSIONS LAW AMENDMENT BILL; SPECIAL PENSIONS AMENDMENT BILL: ADOPTION

Acting Chairperson: Mr Moloto (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Proposed Dispensation for the Recognition of Pensionable Service for NSF Members
Government Employees Pensions Law Amendment Bill [B4-03]
Special Pensions Amendment Bill [B3-03]

SUMMARY
The Committee was briefed on the latest proposed dispensation for the recognition of pensionable service for Non-Statutory Forces (NSF) members. The Bill seeks to qualify members of the NSF for pensions that had served for many years before joining the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The Bill also caters for NSF members that had opted for demobilisation and are currently serving in the public service. The Committee had raised several concerns when they were originally briefed on the dispensation that Cabinet had approved and that was negotiated in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC). At this briefing a new scenario was outlined which addressed the Committee's concerns and which it accepted. Both the Government Employees Pensions Law Amendment Bill and the Special Pensions Amendment Bill were adopted.

MINUTES
Government Employees Pensions Law Amendment Bill: proposed dispensation for recognition of pensionable service for NSF members
Mr G. Barnard, an actuary from Alexander Forbes, Brig-Gen. A de Wet (Director Human Resource and Planning, Department of Defence) and Mr. T Magwaza (CEO of Special Pensions Administration) formed the presentation team.

Mr Barnard reported back to the Committee after changes had been made following their previous briefing to this Committee on 28 May. A sixth scenario was presented to dispel concerns raised by the Committee at that meeting. Scenario 6 lowers the member contribution to 5% from 7.5% (see document).

Discussion
Dr Odendaal (NNP) asked if affected members are satisfied with this proposal.

Mr Magwaza replied that the Department of Defence was very happy with Scenario 6.

Dr Odendaal asked if anybody had been left out. He wondered if there would be any complaints from other groups afterwards.

Mr Magwaza replied that as far as they know everyone was covered.

Mr Moloto (ANC) asked Dr Odendaal if he could be specific and name groups that could be affected.

Dr Odendaal replied that he had no specific details.

Brig-Gen. A de Wet added that this scenario will remove disparity between the Non-statutory Forces and the Statutory Forces.

Mr Mnguni (ANC) stated that Scenario 6 was a much better proposal and that there is less disparity.

Ms Mabe expressed her lingering concern about the lesser amounts paid out when members decide not to contribute.

Mr Barnard explained to her that members get a gratuity option at retirement. They can choose for the lump sum up front or a higher pension.

Ms Joemat (ANC) approved of the improvement made to the previous scenarios. However she still felt that everybody should be getting 100%.

The Committee then unanimously agreed to adopt the Government Employees Pensions Law Amendment Bill.

Special Pensions Amendment Bill
Members then voted on the Special Pensions Amendment Bill which was adopted with further amendment.

The meeting was adjourned.

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