Swakopmunders refuse to move their Hansa pensions
I turn to you in the hope that you may be able to get to the truth regarding the O & L pension fund transfer of its pensioned members but not its employee members.
In June we, the O & L pensioners here in Swakopmund were contacted by Mr Heuschneider who had been in previous years the manager of the now closed Hansa Brewery but was also a pensioner at that time. We were invited to a meeting at his home,where we were given forms to read. Basically we were told that O & L pension fund wanted us to vote in favour of moving to Old Mutual and taking our capital with us. As an incentive we would receive upon moving, a one-off payment of 4% of one month’s pension. We were told that in order for the transfer to Old Mutual to be accepted, there had to be two thirds of all pensioners in the fund to vote in favour of the transfer. This would take time as many live in the north.
At the group meeting I was at, there were 7 persons. All were against the move for various reasons, such as fee stoppages unlike O & L, poorer performance portfolios compared to O & L, and some members had had bad experiences with Old Mutual.
The meeting was finalised with the voting by signing on the forms provided, and each was witnessed. These were then forwarded to Alexander Forbes by each member.
We were told that Alexander Forbes would forward these ballot forms to NAMFISA who would oversee that there was the two thirds before granting O & L the right to transfer us to Old Mutual.
A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to other pensioners, asking them if they had heard of the results of this exercise, none had. It was then spoken about the fact that July had come and gone, and we had not received the normal yearly increase. It was further noted that we had not been requested to sign the normal yearly certificate of existence, to prove a member was still alive.
I was asked by pensioners if I would contact the Fund to find out what was happening. I was given the No 061 2075212 by Alexander Forbes who said it was the contact No of Mr Hartmut Dhiel who I believe to be the CEO of the fund at O & L.
On reaching Mr Dhiel and raising the points mentioned above, he answered me in what I can only say was a hurried and abrasive manner, saying that we will receive our yearly increases at the end of the month from Old Mutual. When I asked about Old Mutual making the payment when we had not heard of the results of the ballot, I was sharply told that it had been approved by NAMFISA and we would be notified accordingly in due course. Unfazed I pointed out my discontent of now having to pay Old Mutual fees where as with O & L I had none. He replied that nothing would change, there would be no fees and all would be just the same as with O & L and with that the call was ended.
I am more than a little sceptical of the manner and reply I have received. Nothing has been reported in the media to my knowledge nor have I received any correspondence from anyone in this regard. Hope you can be of help.
Mr D A Hill