The need to address the challenges regarding the transfer of assets between occupational retirement funds operating in the municipal sector
Author: Tshepiso Tshiamo Rasetlola
Affiliations: Associate at Fasken (incorporated in South Africa as Bell Dewar Inc)
Source: Journal of Corporate and Commercial Law & Practice, Volume 7 Issue 1, 2021, p. 80 – 103
There are several industries where employers participate in more than one retirement fund, such as the municipal sector. Retirement funds that operate in such industries continually try to increase their membership leading to fierce competition for members. They often use their rules to attract new members while ensuring that they do not lose members who are currently paying contributions to them. These rules usually link membership of funds with the tenure of employment with participating employers. This article examines the legal framework that regulates the rivalry between retirement funds that operate within the same sector or are linked to the same employer. It assesses whether employees’ rights to freely associate with the retirement fund of their own is limited by retirement funds’ rules that ‘lock’ them into retirement funds that they joined upon their employment. This article highlights that the current legislation does not adequately deal with the voluntary transfer of assets between rival funds at the instance of the member. This article argues for the establishment of a legal framework that will adequately regulate the rivalry relating to retirement funds’ membership in sectors where the employer can participate in more than one retirement fund.