The battle over the cancellation of thousands of “orphan” pension funds — believed to total more than R20-billion — by the Financial Services Board (FSB) will now be taken up by the Constitutional Court.
Former deputy registrar of pension funds Rosemary Hunter claims that a mass deregistration of orphan funds — shell funds left without any members or assets or dormant funds without boards — from 2007 to 2013 was unlawful and potentially prejudicial to pensioners and other beneficiaries.
In July 2014, Hunter filed a whistle-blowing report to the board of the FSB alleging the mishandling of the deregistration process, which saw the cancellation of 4 600 funds, without — Hunter said — proper oversight by the FSB. Almost a year later, when the regulatory board hadn’t looked into her allegations, Hunter filed a second report, which also detailed the steps taken by her boss, pensions fund registrar Dube Tshidi, to frustrate her investigation and force her to resign.
Former Constitutional Court Judge Kate O’Regan — who was appointed by the FSB to look into the whistle-blowing reports — mandated that Hunter’s accusations be investigated by KPMG.