PIC dismisses GEPF insolvency possibility reports

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has dismissed an incorrect allegation that a claim of £158 billion against the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) would liquidate the organisation.

In a statement, the PIC said it had become aware of a highly contentious disinformation campaign on the purported insolvency of the GEPF.

Reports are making rounds on social media platforms regarding alleged multibillion rand legal claims against the portfolio of assets of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) that is managed by the PIC.

The PIC in the statement said: “At the heart of the allegations is the assertion that an affiliate or subsidiary of Nedbank Limited – which itself was previously associated with Old Mutual – operating in the United Kingdom (UK), (Nedbank Private Wealth), has been engaged in bad business practices in the UK and the United States of America (USA), which will give rise to the claimed financial liability. Nedbank Limited and Old Mutual refute these allegations”.

The PIC, on behalf the GEPF, is an investor in the listed shares of Old Mutual Limited and Nedbank Limited.

It said it was solely upon this fact that the PIC and the GEPF are connected to the allegations and the conclusions reached. Old Mutual and Nedbank are limited liability companies.

“Therefore, the PIC’s exposure, acting on behalf of the GEPF, to any claims against Old Mutual and Nedbank, assuming they are legitimate, is limited to their shareholding only. This is the case with all investments in companies with limited liability, globally.

“Amongst the various incomprehensible allegations, is a claim in the amount of £158 billion against the GEPF and the assertion that all South African state pensions will cease to exist as a result of such a claim. There is simply no factual or legal basis for these assertions,” the PIC said.

The PIC in response to these allegations said it had committed to engage any legitimate authority that has been enjoined to consider the matter.

Complaints detailing these allegations have been submitted to several regulatory and investigative bodies in South Africa, the UK and USA. As far as the PIC is aware, none of the regulatory and investigative bodies have confirmed the veracity of these allegations. The FSCA, after soliciting and obtaining information regarding the complaint, decided to close the matter. This indicates that there is no merit to these allegations.

“The PIC does not know the motive behind these allegations. The PIC can only assure its clients and their beneficiaries, the public and other stakeholders that the allegations are false and that all its client assets are secure,” reads the statement. – SAnews.gov.za