Beneficiaries face long wait after R43bn in canceled pensions restored

Refilwe spoke to Tabitha Paine, an attorney for Open Secrets.

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Non-profit organization Open Secrets has successfully reached a settlement in its legal bid to put an estimated R43 billion in unpaid pension benefits into the hands of more than five million South Africans.

In December 2021, Open Secrets and the Unpaid Benefits Campaign (UBC) filed an application in the Gauteng High Court against the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), asking the court to remedy the unlawful cancellation of pension funds.

The illegal cancellation of pension funds has seen fund administrators, empowered by the Financial Services Board (the FSCA’s predecessor), write off thousands of funds, some of which owed money to retirees and beneficiaries.

Their recently successful legal bid means the funds have been released, so to speak. However, due to the lack of transparency, it is unclear who the recipients of these canceled funds are, not to mention the slow recovery process.

There are beneficiaries who are struggling to get their benefits, it would be best if they contact UBC (Unpaid Benefits Campaign). UBC is around South Africa, but mainly present in Gauteng. And they have an amazing organization that helps people access benefits.

Tabitha Paine, attorney for Open Secrets

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