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What We Do

The office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator was established with effect from 1 January 1998 to investigate and decide complaints lodged in terms of the Pension Funds Act.

The Pension Funds Adjudicator investigates complaints and issues determinations which are equivalent to civil judgments in courts of law.

The Pension Funds Adjudicator only investigates complaints in relation pension funds registered in terms of the Pension Funds Act, pension funds includes Provident Funds, Retirement Annuity Funds and a Preservation Funds.

The Pension Funds Act limits the number of people who can complain to the following;

  • a member or former member of a fund,
  • a beneficiary or former beneficiary of a fund,
  • any group of the above,
  • an employer who participates in a fund,
  • the Board of Management of a fund, or any member of the board can also lodge a complaint.

Your complaint to the Pension Funds Adjudicator must relate to a pension fund; either that it did what it is not supposed to or that it hasn’t done what it is supposed to in terms of its rules and the Act. Also that the employer or any other party has not done what they are supposed to in terms of the rules and the Act. For example, that payment that was supposed to have been made has not been paid.

Before you submit your complaint to the Adjudicator address your complaint to the party against whom you are complaining in writing and wait for a response.

If after 30 days you have not received response or you have received a response but you are still not happy you can submit your complaint to the Adjudicator.

Significant determinations, raising new legal and factual issues are published at www.pfa.org.za under Determinations.

If you are unable to find a copy of the determination that you are looking for on the website you can call our offices and request for a determination by specifying the name and initials of the complainant or by using our reference number.

You can submit your written complaint to The Pension Funds Adjudicator, either by:

Post: P.O. Box 580, Menlyn, 0063
Fax:086 693 7472
E-mail:enquiries@pfa.org.za
Website: www.pfa.org.za or
In Person to:​4th Floor
Riverwalk Office Park
Block A, 41 Matroosberg Road
Ashlea Gardens
Pretoria 0181

​The mandate of the Pension Funds Adjudicator is to adjudicate complaints, and as such we cannot provide legal or financial advice as it could compromise our mandate to investigate and determine complaints in a fair and just manner.

The Pension Funds Adjudicator can, however, provide information in order to assess whether or not the complaint falls within the Adjudicator’s jurisdiction or not

​Any complaint to the Adjudicator must be in writing. The Pension Funds Adjudicator will not accept complaints on the telephone

The Pension Funds Act limits the period of time within which you can submit your complaint, the Prescription Act, period of three years applies to complaints in relation to a debt.

​Complaints lodged with the Adjudicator must contain at least the following information:

​(i) Full personal details, including your name, postal address, I.D. number, as well as phones (including an alternative number) and fax numbers and e-mail address if you have these. The history of your employment and membership of the fund concerned, together with the date you joined and left the employer and the fund, as appropriate.

​(ii) Full details of the fund and the employer including name, address, telephone number. Fax number and e-mail address must be provided.

​(iv) Indicate what is it that you are unhappy about as relate to the specific fund and or the employer.

​(v) The relief that you seek from the Adjudicator. That is, if the adjudicator was to determine the complaint in your favour what should he/she order to be done and by who?

​(vi) Proof that the complaint has been submitted to the fund or the employer e.g. post office registered letter delivery notice or a fax confirmation sheet.

​(vii) A copy of the complaint sent to the fund or employer, together with a copy of any reply received from them, should also be sent to the Adjudicator.

​(viii) Copies of documents referred to in the complaint which supports your complaint must be attached to the complaint e.g. death certificate where the complaint relates to a death benefit etc.

Submitting a Complaint

​There is no prescribed format that you must follow in setting out your complaint. It is, however, important that all the required information is set out clearly and systematically, as if you are telling the story for the very first time.

The services of the office of the Pensions Funds Adjudicator are free to members of the public, nor are you required to be represented by a lawyer.

​REMEMBER : You must complain in writing to the fund or employer concerned at least 30 days before you can lodge your complaint with the Adjudicator. When you submit your complaint to the Pension Funds Adjudicator, please ensure that all the following information is included. (Items marked * are only required if relevant to the complaint) Your Details (the complainant) Name ID Number Address Phone Number Fax Number (optional) E-mail address (optional) Are you a Member or a Beneficiary or Other Complainant? (please state) (If you are a beneficiary, please give the name of the member whose beneficiary you are) Employment Details Full Name and Address of Employer Phone Number Fax Number (optional) E-mail address (optional) When Employed Date From …. To …. (if still employed there, please state) Details of Fund Name of Fund Address Name of Principal Officer (if known) Phone Number Fax Number (optional) E-mail address (optional) Type of Fund Pension Fund, Provident Fund, Preservation Fund, Retirement Annuity Fund, or other (please state) Please enclose Proof of sending complaint to Fund/Employer Copy of complaint letter sent Copy of any reply received Copy of relevant documents eg *membership certificate *benefit statement *payslip showing pension deductions *documents concerning the complaint *other correspondence with fund/employer. Please remember to give full but concise details of your complaint, and tell the Adjudicator what you would like him to do to rectify the situation. When you send your complaint to the Adjudicator, also send an identical copy to the respondents, so that they know you have lodged a complaint with us and can see exactly what the complaint says.​

Procedure

​​On receipt of your complaint it will be registered and allocated a reference number

​​The complaint will also be assessed to determine whether or not the Pension Funds Adjudicator has jurisdiction (legal mandate) to adjudicate the type of issues.

​​If the adjudicator has no jurisdiction you will be informed by a letter referring you to the correct entity where your complaint can be addressed.

​​Should the matter fall within the jurisdiction of the Pension Funds Adjudicator, the complaint shall be forwarded to the party or parties against who the complaint is raised to respond within 30 days.

​​On receipt of the response the complainant shall be granted an opportunity to comment on the response by submitting a reply letter.

​​At this point an assessment shall be conducted to determine whether the dispute can be resolved through a conciliation hearing with an independent conciliator, if so, it shall be allocated for a conciliation hearing and the parties shall be according informed by a letter.

​​If the conciliation is not successful or the dispute is not suitable for a conciliation it shall be forwarded to the adjudication team for an investigation on the factual and legal issues as contained in the submitted documents.

​​A draft document with the findings and recommendations shall be forwarded to the Adjudicator or deputy adjudicator to make a ruling. That is, to issue a determination.

​​The signed determination with reasons is sent to the parties.

​​Any party who feels that the determination is not in accordance with the law can approach the High Court with a formal application to have the determination reviewed.

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