Former City of Windhoek Mayor, Job Amupanda claims the Retirement Fund for Local Authorities and Utility Services in Namibia (RFLAUN) does not care about its beneficiaries and is occupied by a regressive mentality.
“What is clear here is that all of the people who are part of RFLAUN will not be helped.
This pension fund is saying it does not care about you after you are done contributing. This stupid mentality must die,” he said.
Amupanda made these claims yesterday in response to a media statement by RFLAUN, which hit back at him after he posted allegations on social media about the pension fund last week Tuesday.
In his posts, Amupanda alleged that RFLAUN has auctioned its responsibility to another pension fund called Benchmark, to do its work. He added that Benchmark is charging between N$1 000 to N$4 000 for the submission of claims. He also alleged that RFLAUN is a middleman and members of the fund are subject to two sets of pension rules.
He said the RFLAUN statement does not confirm his post, and that he stands by his submission and was not challenged.
He also claimed that RFLAUN only cares about members’ contributions when they are alive but once they retire or die Retirement Fund Solution (RFS) deal with them, adding that this is a betrayal and a tragedy.
However, RFLAUN responded that the name of the fund administrator is not Benchmark Retirement Fund, but the RFS administrator and not another pension fund. RFS Administrators is a company that ensures the provision of fund administration services.
RFLAUN also indicated that it does not charge for claim submissions nor has it contracted a service provider that charges the said fees contrary to what has been stated by Amupanda.
In response, Amupanda said RFLAUN’s statement does not materially contradict his posts’ submission, adding the charged amounts are not the only ones that remain unchallenged with RFLAUN blaming Government Practice Note 5.
“We believe that the social media post relates to the payment of a death benefit paid to beneficiaries in line with Practice Note 5 issued by the Receiver of Revenue of the Republic of Namibia. According to this practice note, the benefit allocated to the beneficiary must be paid in a ratio of 51 percent survival annuity and 49 percent as a lump sum payment. In these instances, the beneficiaries select a registered annuity provider independently outside RFLAUN,” the fund responded.
RFLAUN further said the annuity providers charge administration fees for their services, however, the beneficiaries are advised to make comparisons between different survival annuity products offered in the market for determining the cost-efficient annuity product.
“Annuities are provided outside the fund as decided by the beneficiary and there is no tender between the annuity providers and the fund,” RFLAUN said.
There is only one set of registered rules applicable to the RFLAUN and not two pension rules as alleged in the social media post.
Amupanda said he has a letter written and signed by Austin Thirion, who informed a beneficiary that he is acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Retirement Fund for Local Authorities and Utility Services in Namibia.
He also questioned why Thirion would author such a letter if RFLAUN has not auctioned its responsibilities.