Hands off our pensions!

The collective amount that South Africans have saved up for their pensions is big. About 16 million South Africans are members of retirement funds (with about 11 million still working and saving, the remainder having already retired). At the end of 2016, the total value of South African retirement funds was R4-trillion. This is nearly equivalent to the total size of South Africa’s economy (which is R4.4 trillion). In addition, this pot of retirement savings is the biggest in Africa, and one of the biggest in the world.

I want to draw your attention to the three points below:

  1. The IRR has said that the ANC is considering using private pension funds and savings to finance government projects via a scheme of prescribed assets.
  2. The IRR has further demonstrated how this may become possible under the Expropriation Bill of 2019, which is currently before Parliament.
  3. The IRR has also demonstrated that the government and the ANC have exhausted supplies of public money and are now targeting private money in order to sustain patronage networks.

As part of this, the IRR is launching a campaign to protect my savings. 

In the first step, ordinary people such as myself are being encouraged to pressure their fund manager to determine what is being done to protect our savings.

In the second phase, the IRR will be contacting each of the major fund managers in South Africa to ask them what they are doing to protect my savings. The IRR will also be visiting the offices of the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa to determine what they are doing to protect our savings.

Thirdly, the IRR is developing a legal strategy to protect my pension and savings from the government.

Following from the above:

  1. How serious is the risk that my investments may be directly or indirectly affected by a prescribed assets scheme?
  2. What steps are the institution(s) managing my investments taking to mitigate the risks and safeguard my interests?

Given the extent of corruption and state capture in our country, the risk of prescribed assets is something that we need to give serious attention to and something that financial institutions need to take a firm stand against.

I also give my mandate to the IRR to take a stand on my behalf against the threat of prescribed assets.