NEWS & ANALYSIS

We will not rest until GEPF saved from greedy hands – PSA

Association says govt employees need to be represented on PIC's board

PSA continues to probe investments made by PIC

5 October 2017

The Public Investment Company (PIC) manages South Africa’s largest pension fund, the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) which accounts to 88.2% of assets under PIC.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) representing more than 230 000 members in the public service is perfectly justified to be concerned and probe issues around investments of members’ pensions.

According to the PIC’s Integrated Annual Report 2017, one of the dominant media issues (page 140) is the ‘Disclosure of PIC’s unlisted investments to the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF)’. The PSA demands a full list of such investments including actual investments made and the current value of each to be made public.

“We believe this will enable the GEPF to track the portfolio and it is vital that the report includes a list of politically connected persons. The 5% investment guideline for BEE investments represents a substantial sum and in the current political climate justifies stronger oversight,” said PSA General Manager, Ivan Fredericks.

The PSA through a representative of the Board of Trustees from the Union will judicially request the details on the 5% portion. The PSA still reiterates that since the GEPF holds the biggest percentage of investments in the PIC, the investors which are the government employees should be represented in the PIC Board of Trustees and should participate on how their money is used.

“The PSA is further insisting labour positions on the Boards of all companies where GEPF funds are invested by the PIC. Although the PIC is the only investment manager in South Africa that focuses exclusively on the public sector, it is not the only one that can do the job if the ultimate solution is to withdraw the GEPF to another investment manager. The PSA will not rest until it is satisfied that members’ pensions are not sacrificed for the benefit of the elite few,” said Mr Fredericks.

Issued by Pontsho Mohlala, Assistant Officer : Communication and Social Responsibility, PSA, 5 October 2017