Pension arbiter a well-oiled machine

Battle to end backlogs

Deputy Pension Funds Adjudicator, Muvhango Lukhaimane.
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The Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator is on track to eliminate the backlog in complaints while reducing the turnaround time for all new complaints.

Six months after being appointed as Deputy Pension Funds Adjudicator, Muvhango Lukhaimane says she is satisfied with the noteworthy improvement in service delivery to all stakeholders.

When she took office in June, Lukhaimane said she would strive to ensure new complaints were dealt with within 12 months of being lodged with the OPFA. 

At that time she also expressed concern with the general turnaround times in dealing with complaints.

“I am pleased we are now better fulfilling the strategic objective of development of an approved complaints resolution process in order to provide a cost-effective service with consistent performance standards. 

“All but one of the complaints lodged prior to 1 January 2009 have been resolved. The remaining complaint is settled but we are awaiting confirmation of payment.  Of the complaints received up to 31 December 2010, only 138 remain unresolved,” Lukhaimane said.

There was good progress with regard to the ambitious target to dispose of at least 80% of all new complaints received from 1 April 2012 within 12 months of date of receipt.

“We are progressing very well with this target, considering that the team that is dealing with these complaints also has to process complaints received from 1 January 2011. 

“We are on target to complete all 2011 cases by 31 May 2013 and all cases received between 1 January 2012 and 30 September 2012 by 30 September 2013,” Lukhaimane said. 

The OFPA finalised 5 535 complaints as at 31 December 2012. Of these, 1 110 were out of the jurisdiction of the OPFA for one reason or another; 801 were settled; 604 were conciliated and 2 622 determinations were signed off. 

During this period the OPFA also received 3 834 new complaints. As at 31 December 2012, there were 3 875 complaints to resolve. 

The streamlining of operations at the OPFA coincides with the imminent relocation of its offices from Sandton, Johannesburg to Ashlea Gardens in Pretoria within the same complex as the Financial Services Board (FSB).

Lukhaimane said the move to Pretoria will place the office together with the FSB in a central campus from March, to allow for efficiency and one-stop assistance to stakeholders. 

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