Rossing Fund conclusion in the balance
After receiving the written judgement by the Hon. Justice Shafimana Ueitele, Chairperson of Rossing Pension Fund Trustees, Ruth Chun said their next step is to consult with their legal advisors to consider whether the Fund should appeal.
This was her response to the High Court ruling issued on 1 June 2016 regarding the surplus distribution formula decision made by the Rossing Pension Fund Trustees in 2012.
Chun said that their next step as the Board of Trustees is to thoroughly peruse the Court’s full judgement to understand the ruling and to consider their options going forward before the end of June.
“By the end of June 2016, it will be clear whether or not there will be an appeal against the court judgement, but the decision as to how to distribute the surplus, and when payments may begin will remain a long process,” she said.
According to Chun, former Rossing Pension Fund members, as defined by Rule 8 of the Fund, should register so that they have a record of them. She said the forms can be obtained from the Principal Officer or the Trustees or from any of the Rio Tinto Rossing offices.
“We remain guided by the Rules of the Fund, legal framework in which we operate and principles of good governance in making decisions of the Fund,” added Chun.
Winston Groenewald, Chairperson of the Committee of Former Rossing Pension Fund Members said the ball is in the hands of the Trustees and that they are waiting for them to communicate back to them on the way forward and he also estimated that the surplus amount should be approximately N$1 billion at the moment.
“But to calculate the whole amount is a long process and we hope we will be part of that process, to verify that no miscalculations are made,” he added.
Groenewald said that the Trustees should give consideration to support former employees affected by occupational deceases, exposure to radiation while working for the mine, and to support the well-being of the families of those who have died.
It was decided in 2012 that the surplus in the Pension Fund should be distributed among former members of the fund, who would be allocated 15% as well as the current members, who would receive 52% and Rossing itself to receive 33% of the surplus.