Is Brian Molefe due to pocket his MP pension?

Brian Molefe
File picture: Raymond Preston

As Brian Molefe faces losing his R8-million a year salary with news on Wednesday that his reinstatement as CEO is set to be rescinded‚ he may take heart to hear he qualifies for a pension payout after his brief stint as a member of parliament.

Molefe‚ after having spent a total of three months as an MP‚ is eligible for R40 000 – or more — in pension money from the Political Office Bearers Pension Fund.

The amount is an estimate calculated using publicly available information of MPs’ salaries and the percentages they and their employer‚ Parliament‚ contribute monthly.

Molefe started work as an MP in mid-February and served in Parliament for the full duration of March and April‚ before returning to Eskom on May 15.

Roughly‚ this translates to 90 days holding political office‚ and he is entitled to his contributions to the fund as deducted from his first salary.

Parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo confirmed to TimesLIVE that it was standard practice for any MP to contribute to the fund from his or her first salary.

According to data by Africa Check‚ MPs earn an annual salary of R1 033 438 a year. 60% of the total package is pensionable‚ according to the latest Government Gazette detailing remuneration for members of Parliament.

The employer’s contribution is 22.5% of the pensionable salary‚ which translates to a 17.5% contribution to the fund (the other 5%‚ TimesLIVE understands‚ is used for insurance and administration fees).

All in all‚ this equates to (roughly) a R13 000 monthly contribution to the pension fund — which‚ excluding interest accrued by the fund from investments which is calculated monthly‚ means Molefe is due approximately R40 000 (possibly more)‚ if he decides to withdraw it or not‚ or move it over to a private pension fund.

His brief return to Eskom caused outrage from even the ANC after Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said he would “serve out the remainder of his contract”. She called it a far better option than the massive payout. But then she did an about-turn on Wednesday by instructing the board at Eskom to remove him.

The Sunday Times reported last month that Molefe’s package as Eskom CEO‚ before he stepped down to become an MP‚ was R8-million a year. He was also allocated significant shares as part of Eskom’s long-term incentives when he was seconded to the power utility in April 2015‚ after having served as Transnet CEO for four years.

Whether he resigned‚ was retrenched or was fired is now the subject of a probe by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises.

“Parliament is currently looking at the Brian Molefe matter through that committee‚” Mothapo said.

Molefe has not responded to an SMSed request for comment on the issue.

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