EPPF pays R104 million COVID-19 special bonus to its pensioners
The Board of Trustees of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) has paid a R104.3 million special bonus to its pensioners at the beginning of August 2020 to help alleviate the financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact of the national lockdown.
Linda Mateza, the Chief Executive and Principal Officer of the EPPF, said that this is the Fund’s contribution, amongst others, to the national effort to help our country navigate this difficult period.
Mateza said: “After much deliberation and with advice from the Fund Actuary, the Board of Trustees took a decision to grant our pensioners a once-off special bonus to the value of 50% of the bonus paid to pensioners in 2019. This special bonus, which will range between R3,500 and R5,425 per household depending on the total household income, has been paid along with the monthly pension at the beginning of August 2020. Lower-income households will receive a higher amount.”
“The Fund has considered that the current crisis may have resulted in the reduction of disposable income in many EPPF pensioner households, perhaps due to a loss of livelihood of a household member, or increased cost of food and healthcare items,” said Mateza.
The EPPF is a pension fund with more than 33 000 pensioners comprising former Eskom employees and their widows who receive a monthly pension from the Fund. It has more than R140 billion total assets under management, with significant investments in the local stock market, global stock markets, as well as in private markets such as property, infrastructure assets and others.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which started as a global health crisis, has also become a global economic crisis. There have been more than 560 000 confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa so far, and the consequences have been far-reaching for the country’s economy.
“While the total amount may seem significant, the Fund actuary has established that paying this amount will not be detrimental to the Fund’s balance sheet in the long-term.
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,” added Mateza.
It is hoped that this bonus will bring some relief to thousands of EPPF pensioner households during these challenging times.
The EPPF is a separate entity from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd (Eskom), the power utility. It is governed by an independent Board of Trustees with representatives from both Eskom (as the employer) and labour unions (NUMSA, NUM and Solidarity). It is the second largest private retirement fund in the country, regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority under the auspices of the Pension Fund Act of 1956, like any retirement fund in South Africa.