PFA Ruling: Default determination against mineworkers provident fund

21 April 2008 Pension Fund Adjudicator

The Pension Funds Adjudicator has issued a first time ever default determination in the matter of TS MABUZA Vs MINEWORKERS PROVIDENT FUND(the Fund), this heralds in yet another measure on the part of the Pension Fund Adjudicator to protect the interests of the member and ensure that complaints put before the Funds and their administrators are responded to timorously. In this particular matter the Adjudicator had repeatedly requested the Fund to respond to the complaint lodged by T.S. Mabuza’ but the Fund had despite such requests failed to comply. Therefore due to the prejudice and delay occasioned to the complainant the Adjudicator proceeded to issue a determination against the Fund in default, based on the complainants’ version alone.

The facts of this particular matter are as follows:

This complaint relates to the mode of payment of a death benefit.

In Mabuza’ case, the complaint was that the board of trustees of the fund decided to place a minor’s benefit in a trust without investigating the ability of the minor’s guardian (grandmother) to administer the financial affairs of the minor.

The Fund had been invited to file a response on several occasions but had failed to do so. It is also important to point out that this tribunal had a meeting with the officials of the fund (ten days prior to issuing the default determination), in terms of which they were once again urged to respond to the complaints and the Fund undertook to file responses as requested but in some of the matters including that of Mabuza’ failed to act in terms of its undertaking. The Adjudicator after taking due cognizance of her powers in terms of section 30(O) and the relevant High Court Rules on default judgment issued default determination against the fund in terms of which it was ordered the fund to conduct a proper investigation regarding the ability of the Mrs Z.Mabuza to administer the minor’s financial affairs and finalize this investigation within six weeks of the determination.

Click here to read the full determination (PDF file  52kb)


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