The COVID-19 pandemic, which started as a global health crisis, has also become a global economic crisis. There have been more than 97 000 confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa so far, and the consequences have been far-reaching for the country's economy.
The EPPF has considered that the current crisis may have resulted in the reduction of disposable income in many pensioner households, perhaps due to a loss of livelihood of a household member, or cost increases of food items and additional expenses brought about by the national lockdown.
To alleviate some of the economic strain on our pensioners resulting from the pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, the EPPF Board of Trustees, with advice from the Fund actuary, explored the feasibility and affordability of granting interim financial relief to EPPF pensioners.
The outcome of these efforts was a decision to grant our pensioners a once-off special bonus to the value of 50% (half) of the bonus paid to each pensioner in 2019. This special bonus, which will range between R3,500 and R5,425 per household depending on the total household income, will be paid along with your monthly pension at the end of July 2020. Lower-income households will receive a higher amount.
The total cost of this special bonus to the Fund will be R105,3 million. While the amount is significant, the Fund actuary has established that paying this amount will not be detrimental to the Fund's actuarial valuation balance sheet. As the country makes various trade-offs in the face of this pandemic, the Fund also had to ensure that assisting pensioners with the special relief payment will not compromise the long-term sustainability of the Fund.
We hope that this special bonus will assist your households during this challenging time. We will continue to work in the best interests of our members and pensioners in demonstrating that we are truly 'Invested in our members'.
Chief Executive and Principal Officer
Eskom Pension and Provident Fund