The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) demands stern action be taken against the thousands of employers named by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) as defaulters owing nearly R7 billion to workers’ pension funds.
The alarming revelations by the pension adjudicator need to be urgently addressed. These shameless employers include countless security companies, retailers and municipalities. They have unashamedly reneged on payments towards their workers’ pension funds for appalling periods of ranging from a few months to over 20 years.
These are gross violations of the rights of employees and robbing them of their hard-earned money and condemning them to retire in poverty. The failure to pay pension fund contributions is a violation of our labour, pension, tax and criminal laws.
The law requires employers to pay benefit contributions to their pension funds timeously. It is a criminal offence for an employer not to pay over these contributions.
It is beyond comprehension that even major companies who make billions of rand in profits are breaking the law. These same companies have benefited from tax cuts and other incentives offered by government.
COSATU will be seeking an urgent meeting with government, in particular the Department of Employment and Labour, the South African Police Service, the FSCA and the Pension Funds Adjudicator as well as the pension funds sector and Organised Business at Nedlac to work on a clear programme to have these criminals brought to book and monies owed to workers paid.
We appreciate the government’s tightening of the law to address the non-payment of pension fund contributions through the conduct standard provisions that became effective in February this year. These grant pension funds the authority to recover arrear contributions. We urge them to fully utilize these progressive provisions and hold these amoral employers accountable.
COSATU will be working with its Affiliates to undertake campaigns across workplaces to ensure all employers pay workers and their pension funds what is due to them.
Issued by COSATU
For further comment please contact:
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687