Labour Federations getting impatient with Treasury’s slow pace at amending Pension Fund legislation

Labour union federation COSATU says it is growing impatient with the delay by National Treasury to finalise and pass pension and retirement reforms. The draft Pension Fund Amendment Bill which seeks to allow workers to access a portion of their pension and retirement funds is expected to be introduced as a tax bill which must be passed within a specific time frame, once it has been introduced.

“Workers are struggling. We have unemployment of 45 percent, but even workers in the public sector or in the private sector who are lucky to have jobs are struggling. They are supporting relatives who have lost wages, they are highly indebted,” comments Matthew Parks, the Parliamentary coordinator for COSATU.

Parks says that at the height of COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, the union proposed for workers to be allowed to access a third of their pension funds to pay off debts and make ends meet in order to benefit the economy by injecting cash into it.

Another trade union confederacy, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), says the delay by Treasury was unnecessary. FEDUSA’s Deputy Secretary General, Ashley Benjamin says their union is “annoyed” by National Treasury’s delay in amending legislation to allow workers to access a portion of their pension retirement funds.

“This delay is causing more hardship to workers who are already negatively affected by the current economic climate with ever increasing interest rates hike, high cost of electricity, tariffs, and steep increases in the fuel crisis,” says the deputy secretary general.

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Source: SABC News (