Existing pension plans for South African miners are set to undergo a major overhaul to account for the effects of the HIV/Aids epidemic.
This follows a presentation by South African Chamber of Mines president Rick Menell for the World Economic Forum on behalf of mining body Gold Fields.
Gold Fields corporate affairs manager, Willie Jacobse said that the Chamber of Mines is currently in discussion with trades unions for a restructured pension plan that would recognise the impact of HIV/Aids. He explained that although the restructuring exercise is an issue that would be dealt with over a long period, Gold Fields hopes to have the new arrangement in place as soon as possible.
“We are aiming to restructure the existing retirement arrangements so that miners with Aids can afford to take early retirement,” said Jacobse.
“With the existing pensions arrangement, the medically incapacitated can take ill-health retirement, but since Aids does not fall into this category of notifiable diseases, it needs a special arrangement so that Aids sufferers do not end up on the street when they retire early.”
“Pension plans need to take into account that although Aids sufferers may retire early, they still may have many years ahead and need money to account for those years.”
Jacobse confirmed that the new pensions plan would be one to which both companies and employees would contribute.
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