Denel medical annuity offer “a good one”


Indications are a Denel proposal to dissolve its medical benefit trust in favour of individual annuities has solid support.

The beleaguered State-owned defence and technology group was last month taken to task by the United Association of SA (UASA), a Gauteng-based trade union. Spokesperson Abigail Moyo said in a statement UASA was “concerned to hear of plans that will impinge on current and Denel employees reaching retirement age as well as pensioners who worked at and for various divisions and associated companies”.

The union’s “concern” is seemingly not shared by “at least 375 beneficiaries” of the Denel Medical Benefit Trust (DMBT) who, to date, accepted the offer of an individual annuity rather than remain with the Trust for medical expenses.

A two-sentence Denel statement coinciding with the 9 November closing date to accept the individual annuity offer notes the 375 beneficiaries who accepted represent “more than 57%” of DMBT members. A Denel pensioner told defenceWeb the statement was “in line” with an extension of the individual annuity offer to 9 December.

Choosing anonymity ahead of possible victimisation the pensioner, who sat in on some presentations, said the individual annuity offer was “a good one” adding there was “no chance” DMBT funds could be “spirited away”.

“The Trust is structured so this cannot happen. Some people are attempting to create an impression all is not as it seems with the offer. This is not so. There have been negotiations with management over a period of time. Some did not go well and with others good progress was made.

“Denel offered to pay for an actuary to examine the proposal in depth as one indication of willingness to assist employees with the annuity proposal,” he said.

Going on Denel numbers it appears the DMBT has close to 700 members. defenceWeb’s contact maintains it is around the 600 mark.