Can temporary workers be a member of an employer’s pension fund?

Can temporary workers be a member of an employer’s pension fund?

Legislation, Payroll / eTorQue

There is nothing preventing temporary workers from becoming a member of a company pension scheme. The prerequisite is for there to be an employer/employee contractual relationship.

The membership and eligibility criteria of a Fund is determined by the conditions of the employment contract. As such, there is nothing in law that prevents an employer from contributing to a retirement fund in respect of contract and temporary workers.

Typically an employer does not contribute toward temporary employees’ pension benefits in the light of the temporary nature of their employment. As a result, the eligibility criteria are usually defined to include all full time employees under normal retirement age.

Importantly, the rules of the fund must comply with the SARS requirements for registration and approval.

In brief the SARS requirements include the following:

“The fund is a permanent fund bona fide established for the purpose of providing annuities for employees on their retirement from employment or for dependents or nominees of deceased employees or mainly for that purpose:

  • The rules of the fund provide that
  • Recurring annual contributions shall be in accordance with specified scales; and
  • Membership shall be a condition of employment for all eligible categories of employees.”

An employer-employee relationship is therefore a prerequisite.