Islamic spouse entitled to pension

2012-03-14 16:17

Johannesburg - A spouse in an Islamic marriage is entitled to a share of the partner's pension fund upon divorce, the Pension Funds Adjudicator (PFA) said on Wednesday.

The ruling came after Tanya Yasmine Tryon complained that Nedgroup defined contribution pension and provident funds had failed to pay the pension interest allocated to her in terms of a divorce order.

"Since the complainant was married to the fund member according to the tenets of the Islamic religion, and that their marriage, although not registered as a civil marriage, was dissolved according to the tenets of the religion, the complainant had every right to be considered as a spouse for the purposes of payment of pension interest," said acting adjudicator Elmarie de la Rey.

Tryon's marriage was dissolved on September 21 2007.

The dissolution of marriage and the settlement agreement between her and her husband was made an order of the South Gauteng High Court on September 21 2011.

In terms of the settlement agreement, Tryon was entitled to 50% of the value of the fund, calculated from the date of inception, to September 21 2007, being the date of the fasakh (ending of the Islamic marriage).

Refused to pay

Nedgroup defined contribution pension and provident funds (first respondent) and its administrator Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (second respondent) refused to pay.

They submitted that section seven of the Divorce Act provided that a member's pension interest would only form part of the member's assets in the marriage if the parties were married in community of property, married with the accrual system, or married pre-1984 in terms of an antenuptial contract without the accrual system.

They argued that Tryon and her former husband, who is the member of the pension fund, were not married in terms of any of these regimes, so the pension interest was not part of his estate's assets.

However, on Wednesday, De la Rey said the PFA tribunal was satisfied that Tryon should be considered as a spouse for the purposes of pension interest payable by Nedgroup.

"This much was also confirmed by the High Court when it made its order regarding pension interest on 21 September 2011," she said.

"The definition of spouse in section one of the act also accords with this tribunal's interpretation."

The pension companies were ordered to pay Tryon her share of pension interest.

  • zaatheist - 2012-03-14 16:26

    Too bloody right. Just because she was unfortunate enough to be born into an Muslim family and married a Muslim according to their sexist customs does not disqualify her of her basic human rights. This is not the Dark Ages for gods sakes!

      Joe - 2012-03-14 17:06

      Let's see when your divorced wife claims from your pension fund...LOL

      Stormkaap - 2012-03-14 17:11

      If you know nothing about islamic marriages the shut up.. It has nothing to do with the way u see the world rather how Islamic jurisprudence deals with the matter. The major thing is HOW they were divorced and there are certain rile regarding this matter which u have to respect. BTW Islam is absolutely clear regarding the rights of women. Be careful that you dont confuse customary practices with what religion says and this is where most muslim men tend to hide behind. As for the dark ages I think you need to enlighten yourself.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-14 19:18

      @StormKaap I don't give a rats about "slamic jurisprudence". That is an oxymoron. I live in a free country with a proper judiciary. Islamic jurisprudence. Ha!

      Stormkaap - 2012-03-14 19:46

      That ..zaatheist, is exactly the have no regard for anything except your views. So for that matter why should anybody care about what you think.. whether you were carbon dated or not or whether steve Hawkins is your 'whisperer'or not. You clearly show no tolerance for others except yourself. Be happy and enjoy your life.

  • Erich - 2012-03-14 16:35

    I am surprised to learn that the Muslim wives were up to now excluded. At least are they allowed to drive their own vehicles here. I agree, the dark ages are over and I would to see Muslim ladies stand up for their rights.

      Joe - 2012-03-14 17:12

      Is it missed that she is NOT his wife anymore, she was/is divorced from the man? According to this law, all you divorced women, go for it and claim from your ex-husbands your portion of his pension fund...WOOHOO for women claiming what's not theirs...LOL!! Not sexist at all, just fairness... If she was still married to the man, ofcourse she is entitled to her share, and I'm sure even under Islamic law.

      Stormkaap - 2012-03-14 17:12

      Erich I take it you're living in the ME. the right of women driving has nothing to do with islamic jurisprudence. That practice is backward customary practices and nothing to do with Islam

      zaatheist - 2012-03-14 19:20

      @Stormkaap Jeez. I thought Saudi Arabia was an Islamic country. Seems I must be wrong.

  • alexander.lombard - 2012-03-14 17:14

    We can not have laws in South-Africa for seperate religions. We can however let religions and the positive contributions they make guide our comunities. If you go to Saudi-Arabia you are not allowed to be an upfront Christian or preach christian values. In South-Africa we however alow for all religions if they can stay within our common law.

      alexander.lombard - 2012-03-14 17:15

      Oh on the pension thing. I hope men can claim from their wives pension fund if she was the main bread winner.

  • Clement De Vos - 2012-03-14 17:48

    Good for her. Why get married and then use religion not to give her what she is due.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-14 19:22

      Religions were made up by men and women are second class or lesser. Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status - Sura 2:228 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind.' "No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman..... Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die"; (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24) "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet." 1 Timothy 2:12 "Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22 "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." Leviticus 26:29 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" Ephesians 5:22

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