Bosasa employees fight for pension pending halted liquidation process

Bosasa employees fight for pension pending halted liquidation process

General views from the Bosasa Group auction viewing. Picture: Michel Bega

The employees were informed that due to legislative requirements, Sanlam could not process their claims until the liquidation process had been completed.

Staff members of the controversial Bosasa Youth Development Centres have waited months to be paid their provident funds which, to their relief, Sanlam are in the process of releasing.

According to Clint Rusford, a former employee at the centre, staff members have waited on Sanlam to release their retirement funds, but the liquidation of the Bosasa-controlled company had halted the process.

The employees hit a snag when they were informed that due to legislative requirements, Sanlam could not process their claims until the liquidation process had been completed.

Rusford said employees went back and forth between the liquidators, the Financial Service Conduct Authority (FCSA) and Sanlam, yet no one could give them any answers.

“The FSCA then informed us that the liquidation process has been completed and that they are only awaiting one signature from a senior official before the funds of members could be released by the administrator of the fund,” he added.

“Sanlam also made it clear that once the liquidation procedure has been completed, the funds of the members would be released within 10 working days.”

According to Sanlam’s Mike O’Donovan, the company was granted an exemption by the FCSA last week that allowed it to forego the wait and release the funds before the full liquidation process had been completed.

“In order to expedite the liquidation process in terms of Section 28 of the Pension Funds Act, Sanlam applied to the FSCA for exemption of the full liquidation process in respect of these sub-funds,” said O’Donovan.

“The confirmation of exemption in respect of the remaining Bosasa Youth Development and Leading Prospect sub-funds was received from the FSCA on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. This enabled Sanlam to proceed with the payment of member benefits held by these funds.”

On Friday, Sanlam also received the relevant tax documents from employees that triggered the pay-out payment process.

The matter should be finalised by January 17, 2020, O’Donovan added.

“Sanlam is treating this process with extreme urgency and, in addition to senior management involvement, we have allocated additional resources to process these payments as quickly as possible and to try to resolve any issues that may arise regarding outstanding information, SARS queries and unsuccessful bank account validations that may further delay payments,” he said.

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