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Company ordered to pay four years’ provident contributions for worker

02 August 2022 - 13:24
Pension funds adjudicator Muvhango Lukhaimane. File photo.
Pension funds adjudicator Muvhango Lukhaimane. File photo.
Image: FINANCIAL MAIL

A Pretoria-based company has been ordered to cough up more than R190,000 in provident fund contributions after failing to pay an employee’s portion for four years while deducting money from his salary.

Pension funds adjudicator Muvhango Lukhaimane warned that in such cases it’s not enough for a provident fund to point out non-compliance to employers in letters but they should take legal action.

According to the office of the pensions funds adjudicator, the electrical and mechanical engineering company had failed to pay contributions on behalf of the complainant to the Metal Industries Provident Fund.

“The complainant said the employer last paid contributions in September 2018 while continuing to deduct the same from his salary.

“In its response to the office of the pensions funds adjudicator, the fund submitted that contributions were received on the complainant’s behalf for the period January 2012 to June 2018 and September 2018. Contributions were outstanding for the period July 2018 to August 2018 and October 2018 to date.

“The total outstanding contributions were R192,305.13 for the period July 2018 to August 2018 and October 2018 to March 2022.”

The fund’s administrator said it notified the director of the company and all parties concerned regarding the outstanding contributions.

Despite letters being sent, the employer had not paid the outstanding contributions.

The fund also said the employer had signed an acknowledgment of debt with its attorneys but had since defaulted. The matter was referred back to the attorneys to enforce legal action against the employer.

“Though the employer was granted an opportunity to respond to the complaint, no response was received.”

Lukhaimane said on the evidence submitted, the employer owed the provident fund contributions and was in contravention of section 13A of the act and rule 8 of the fund.

“It is not enough for the fund to just say that it sent non-compliance letters to the employer. The fund has a duty to take further steps, which include notifying the employees of the employer regarding the non-compliance and taking legal action against the employer,” she said.

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