UIF: payouts period may be extended

2009-01-21 00:00

Cape Town — Legislative amendments could soon be on the cards to extend the payment of benefits by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) from the current 8,5 months to 11 months.

Following a submission to the portfolio committee on labour, UIF commissioner Boas Seruwe said the fund’s accumulated surplus of R15,4 billion enables it to soften the negative effect of the economic downturn on employment in the country.

He says further retrenchments and a possible extension of the payment period could lead to a 15% rise in payments this year. Actuarial valuations show that the fund is able to handle this.

Seruwe said amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act could be submitted as soon as June to enable the minister to extend the period of benefits for people struggling to get new jobs after retrenchment.

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