This case was heard by the North Gauteng High Court where the applicant holds the respondents in contempt of court for not abiding by a determination made by the Pension Funds Adjudicator (PFA).
The PFA received a complaint from the Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance in 2013. The crux of the complaint was that the applicant alleged that the respondent failed to provide her with a benefit statement from 2005 to 2013.
The PFA ruled that the respondents had to provide the applicant with a benefit statement that gave a detailed breakdown of all her withdrawal benefits. The respondents did not comply with this ruling.
Appeal to the High Court
The applicant took this matter to the High Court because the respondents were in contempt of court for disobeying the determination made by the PFA. The respondents, however, argued that they cannot be in contempt of court as the determination was made by the PFA and not by a court of law.
High Court Ruling
The High Court ruled that determinations made by the PFA enjoy the same status of a civil court judgment and are legally enforceable as a court judgment. This clearly illustrates that a determination made by the PFA must be adhered to, and non-adherence can be taken to the High Court for further action.
Furthermore, any party who feels aggrieved by a determination of the Adjudicator may, within six weeks after the date of the determination, apply to the High Court for the determination to be reviewed. The High Court will consider the merits of the complaint and will make a decision based on its own findings.