The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has registered Rule Amendment 1, which is a change to the consolidated rules that apply to the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF).
Rule Amendment 1 has implications for two categories of the EPPF’s members:
· Deferred members
· In-service members
1. Who are deferred members?
Deferred members are also referred to as deferred pensioners.
Deferred members are those who elected to leave their benefit in the Fund when they left the employment of Eskom SOC Holdings (Eskom), Eskom Rotek Industries (ERI) or the EPPF. They left their benefit with the understanding that they’ll receive a retirement benefit from the Fund when they reach 65, or upon early retirement at age 55.
2. How are deferred members impacted by Rule Amendment 1?
Rule Amendment 1 has made it possible for all deferred members to take a withdrawal benefit from the Fund before reaching the age of 65.
Prior to Rule Amendment 1, deferred members could only receive a withdrawal benefit from the Fund before reaching the age of 55. At age 55 and older, deferred members had to retire and receive a retirement benefit from the Fund.
1. Who are in-service members?
In-service members are people who are currently permanently employed by Eskom, ERI or the EPPF.
2. How are in-service members impacted by Rule Amendment 1?
It is important to understand that Rule Amendment 1 has impact for those in-service members who have not yet reached normal retirement age. This means those in-service members who have not yet reached the age of 65.
• In-service members who are 55 or older.
In-service members who are 55 or older are now allowed to receive a withdrawal benefit from the Fund when they leave the employer, without having to prove that they have other employment.
Before Rule Amendment 1, in-service members who resigned or were dismissed at age 55 or older could not receive a withdrawal benefit as a lump sum (cash) without proving that they had other employment, including self-employment. Rule Amendment 1 has removed the need to prove alternative employment where the member is 55 or older. Any member may elect to receive a withdrawal benefit as a lump sum (cash) if they wish to do so.
• In-service members whose employment changes from being permanent employees to being on a fixed-term contract
Rule Amendment 1 means that if an in-service member’s employment changes from being permanent to a fixed-term contract, this member will become a non-contributing member. This is because the employee will no longer meet the requirement of being permanently employed by the employer. They will no longer be able to continue with their membership of the Fund. In this case, no further contributions will be payable to the Fund. The employee’s benefit will be held in the Fund until their employment is terminated. The employee will not be allowed to take a withdrawal benefit nor transfer the benefit to another Fund while they are still in the service of the employer on a fixed-term basis.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Where can I read Rule Amendment 1?
Click here to access the full document.
2. Does the date of becoming a deferred member (date of leaving service) affect whether I can take a withdrawal benefit as a deferred member?
The date of becoming a deferred member does not affect whether you may receive a withdrawal benefit. It is important to note that a deferred member can no longer take a withdrawal benefit once they reach 65.
3. Can I take a withdrawal benefit as a deferred member at age 64?
Yes, you may. A deferred member may take a withdrawal benefit at any age before 65.
4. Can I take a withdrawal benefit as a deferred member at age 65 if I have not yet received my retirement benefit (pension)?
On the day that a deferred member turns 65 they can no longer receive a withdrawal benefit. The member can only receive a retirement benefit from that date. This means that the member may take up to one-third of the retirement benefit as a lump sum (cash) and the remaining two-third portion of the benefit will be used to provide a pension to the member.
5. Do I still need to prove that I have other employment if I resigned at age 55 or older but before Rule Amendment 1 came into effect (before 28 July 2022)?
Yes. If you left the service of your employer before 28 July 2022, which is the date that Rule Amendment 1 came into effect, then the rules as they were on the date of leaving service will apply. This is because rules take effect on the date that they are registered by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority unless if there is a specific effective date set out for the rule. This means that you will have to provide proof of alternative employment if you want to receive a withdrawal benefit as a lump sum (cash).
6. Can I transfer my withdrawal benefit to another retirement fund if I move from permanent employment to a fixed-term contract?
No. After having your employment change from a permanent basis to a fixed-term contract with the same employer, you cannot receive a withdrawal benefit. You also cannot transfer your benefit to another retirement fund while you are still in the service of Eskom, ERI or the EPPF. Your benefit will be held in the Fund until you leave the service of the employer. At the point of leaving service of the employer, you may take your withdrawal benefit as a lump sum (cash) or transfer it to another retirement fund if you are below 65.
7. If I cannot receive a withdrawal benefit after changing from permanent employment to fixed-term contract, will I receive interest on my benefit?
Yes. Your benefit will remain in the Fund until you leave the service of your employer. During that time, the benefit will remain invested and continue to earn an investment return.
8. If I transferred my benefit from a provident fund after 1 March 2021, will I receive my full transferred portion as a lump sum when I retire from the Fund?
If you were a member of a provident fund and you transferred your withdrawal benefit from that fund to the EPPF after 1 March 2021, that portion of your benefit (made up of contributions paid into a provident fund before 1 March 2021) will remain protected in the Fund to allow you to take it as a lump sum (cash) when you retire. This means that the rule which used to apply to a provident fund up to 1 March 2021, which allowed members to take the full benefit as a lump sum when they retire, will continue to apply to that portion of your benefit in the Fund.
9. What forms do I need to fill in order to withdraw my benefit?
Click on the links to download the forms. Please fill them in completely and provide the supporting documents. You will also read on the form how to submit them for processing.
10. How long will it take for me to get my benefit once I submit my completed forms?
Once you submit your completed forms and supporting documents, your benefit will be processed within five working weeks after receiving your last contribution.
11. How do I find out how much is available for me to withdraw?
• You can get a quotation through the member portal on www.eppf.co.za.
• You can our call centre tollfree on 0800 11 45 48.
• You can chat to a consultant in your region. See below.
12. I’d like someone to explain my options
Are you aware of our self-service options?
• WhatsApp 072 741 7774
• Web chat on www.eppf.co.za
• If you don’t have a smartphone, dial: *120*1037#
• E-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call our call centre tollfree on 0800 11 45 48
Head Office and walk-in centre:
EPPF Office Park
24 Georgian Crescent East, Bryanston East, Johannesburg, 2191
Telephone: 011 709 7400
Cellphone: 067 429 0042
Emalahleni walk-in centre
House No 27, Eskom Park
Visagie Street, Emalahleni, 1035
Tel: 013 693 3240 or 013 693 3918
Cell: 067 429 0035 or 067 429 0030
Cape Town satellite office
60 Voortrekker Road, Belville, 7530
Tel: 012 915 2721
Cell: 067 429 0210
East London satellite office
Sunilaws Office Park, Block A
corner Quenera Drive and Bonza Bay Road,
Beacon Bay, East London, 5241
Cell: 067 429 0034
Durban satellite office
KwaZulu-Natal Eskom regional office
25 Valley View Road, New Germany, 3620
Cell: 067 429 0114
Limpopo satellite office
66 Hans Van Rensburg Street,
Polokwane Central, Polokwane, 0700
Cell: 067 429 0035