Glossary
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PARTICIPATING EMPLOYERS

Certain employers in the public sector automatically participate in GEPF, while others must apply to participate. This is according to Section 1 of the Government Employees Pension Law, which governs the workings of GEPF.

The Government Employees Pension Law (GEP Law) makes it clear that all government departments whose conditions of service fall under the Public Service Act automatically participate in GEPF. These employers are all the national and provincial government departments, as well as the offices of the premiers. For the sake of clarity, these employers are listed in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act.

Other institutions listed in the GEP Law as participating employers are the Public Service Commission, the Auditor-General, the Office of the Auditor-General and any Provincial Service Commission established in terms of Section 213 of the Constitution.

In addition, the GEP Law gives GEPF's Board of Trustees the authority to accept any other government institution or body as a participating employer. With this in mind, the Board has a specific policy called the ‘Admission of new participating employers to GEPF’.

This admission policy sets out the criteria an employer must meet to be admitted as a participating employer. For example, every employer applying to participate must provide documentation showing that the organisation concerned is linked or related to the government. There are also various other criteria, such as an undertaking to abide by the GEP Law and the rules of the Fund, and to compensate GEPF for any additional financial obligation placed on the Fund.

The policy also spells out the application process that employers must follow to be admitted. Briefly, this process entails completing a participating employer application form and a participating employer checklist form and submitting these, along with supporting documents, to the Chairperson of the Benefits and Administration Committee of GEPF's Board of Trustees.

Electronic Contributors

All participating employers interact regularly with GEPF. They pay pension contributions over to the Fund every month and notify us when new members are being admitted and existing members are withdrawing. Employers also make sure that the information that GEPF has on their employees (our members) is accurate and up to date.

This interaction can take place electronically or manually, depending on the salary administration system that each employer uses.

Electronic interaction is possible when an employer uses the National Treasury’s transversal systems, Persal or Persol, to administer its salaries. Persal is the payroll system used in most national and provincial government departments, while Persol is the system used in the uniformed services. Employers with Persal or Persol have the advantage of a single electronic interface with GEPF, whether for admitting new members, collecting contributions or maintaining members. Currently, about 98 percent of all participating employers are electronic contributors.

Employers are required to pay the monthly pension contributions to GEPF by the seventh day of the following month. The Fund has a clearly defined contribution management process for receiving, reconciling and reporting on these payments.

In the case of electronic transactions, our contribution management process consists of the following steps:

  1. Raising the amounts payable by the employer and member: This information comes from the monthly salary information obtained from Persal and Persol. The information is available by the third week of every month for the month concerned. Information is also received from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). GEPF checks that the salary information is complete and valid. If it is not, we follow up with National Treasury’s Transversal Systems.
  2. Allocating receipts: GEPF captures and allocates receipts for payments to the debtor accounts daily; however to finalise this process for a specific month, the receipts must be captured and allocated by the 10th of the next month in preparation for reconciliation.
  3. Reconciliation: In the last week of the month, GEPF does a financial reconciliation to check that there is a match between amounts received and amounts payable. We also check that receipts have been correctly captured and that any employer refunds have been properly processed. The last part of the reconciliation process is to calculate the contributions outstanding for the month.
  4. Following up on discrepancies: This step is aimed at correcting overpayments and underpayments. Contributions received are checked from the 8th day of the month to determine which contributions are outstanding for the calculation of interest on late payment.
  5. Raising late payment interest: Once interest on late payments is calculated, letters are sent to the employers to inform them accordingly. Should no response be received, the matter is followed up and then escalated in terms of GEPF's Debt Collection Policy. GEPF bases late payment interest on the Repo rate + 3%.

Reporting on the results: Each month, we compile a status report on contributions payable and amounts owing. This is submitted to GEPF management and the Benefits and Administration Committee (BA-C) of the Board of Trustees.

Manual Contributors

Manual contributors are employers who need to apply to GEPF’s Board of Trustees to become participating employers. Some of these employers also do not use a payroll interface or the Persal/ Persol Transversal Systems, and instead use manual processes to interact with GEPF.

Collecting contributions

Manual contributors have different options for paying pension contributions over to GEPF. They can submit salary schedules or create a salary output file/payroll interface which uses the same file layout as the Persal data set. Contributions must be paid by the seventh day of the following month regardless of which payment option an Employer chooses to use.

GEPF has a clearly defined contribution management process for receiving, reconciling and reporting on manual payments. It consists of the following steps:

  1. Raising the amounts payable by the employer and member: GEPF checks that participating employers have submitted their salary information, whether on salary schedules or through a salary output file. We then capture the information on Excel spreadsheets.
  2. Allocating receipts: We capture and allocate receipts for payments to the debtor accounts daily. However to finalise this process for a specific month, the receipts must be captured and allocated by the 10th of the next month in preparation for reconciliation.
  3. Doing reconciliation: In the last week of every month, GEPF does a financial reconciliation to check that there is a match between amounts received and amounts payable. We also check that receipts have been correctly captured and that any employer refunds have been properly processed. The last part of the reconciliation process is to calculate the contributions outstanding for the month.
  4. Following up on discrepancies: This step is aimed at correcting overpayments and underpayments. Contributions received are checked from the 8th day of every month to determine which contributions are outstanding for the calculation of interest on late payments.
  5. Raising late payment interest: Once interest on late payments has been calculated, letters are sent to the employers to inform them accordingly. Should no response be received, the matter is followed up and then escalated in terms of GEPF's Debt Collection Policy. GEPF bases late payment interest on the Repo rate+ 3%).

Reporting on the results: Each month, we compile a status report on contributions payable and amounts owing. This is submitted to GEPF management and the Benefits and Administration Committee (BA-C) of the Board of Trustees.

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