Cosatu frustrated that Treasury denies workers early access to pensions
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Johannesburg - Cosatu is seeking an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to express frustrations over Treasury’s decision to deny public servants’ early access to their pensions.
The meeting is also meant to compel Parliament to draw up a bill that will ensure that workers can access a portion of their pensions.
The move to allow workers early access to their pensions was part of the government’s response to the financial constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the decision a worker could access their pension on resignation, retrenchment or retirement. Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the decision offended public servants who have also been experiencing financial challenges because of the pandemic.
“The federation rejects this unwanted isolation and victimisation of public servants. This represents an intensification of the offensive against public servants by this administration.
“Retirement savings are hard-earned deferred wages of workers and the national Treasury is ill-qualified to tell workers that they cannot access them while experiencing financial difficulties,” Pamla said.
Granting access to the pensions would help public servants to quash their debts.
According to the South African Reserve Bank, almost 73.7% of household income is spent on debt while consumer spending contributed 60% to the economy. Last year the SA Human Rights Commission revealed that over 50% of South African credit-active consumers were over-indebted.