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Post Info TOPIC: Pension Fund Membership
Ann

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Pension Fund Membership
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I am a permanent employee of St Chad’s Anglican Church in Table View, Cape Town. We are one of a number of churches under the umbrella of the Diocese of Saldanha Bay. I have been working as Secretary here for 6 years and during that time I have never belonged to the pension fund.

 

I recently came across an extract from a Diocesan Manual which states that it is “essential” for all permanent staff members to be a member of the C.P.S.A. Layworkers Pension Fund. I duly enquired of my superiors what the situation was concerning this and have been told that yes, I should have been made a member upon starting my job. They are willing to enrol me as a member from now onwards, but are unwilling to backdate a lumpsum contribution of their portion of the monthly premium since I started work, to the Fund. I am currently 60 years old, turning 61 next week, and this lumpsum would make a big difference to the monthly pay-outs I would receive while on pension. I am prepared to match my half of the lumpsum contribution (50% Employer, 50% Employee as per the rules). My employment contract states “The Staff Benefits and Policy Manual forms part of the conditions of employment and should be followed and adhered to at all times.” At the time of employment, I asked for a copy of said manual, but never received it. I believe my immediate employers at the time were unaware of the pension rules and therefore didn’t offer me the benefit. The rules of the Pension Fund, as stated in the C.P.S.A. Layworkers Pension Fund booklet, state “All employees qualify for membership provided that they are on the permanent staff of the Employer”.

My point is this, it is generally accepted that I should have been a pension fund member for six years already and have lost out on six years of contributions, through no fault of my own. If I was 25 and starting out in life, I would have plenty of time to accumulate a pension, but that is not the case. I want to know if I have any legal ground in requesting the Diocese to backpay their portion of the contributions for the past six years?



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