STATEMENT: GEPF position on Steinhoff shareholding
Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has taken note of the current concerns regarding possible lapses in governance at Steinhoff International Holdings and assures its members, pensioners and beneficiaries that their pensions are safe.
As at 31 March 2017, the GEPF through PIC owned about R28billion in Steinhoff International Holdings which is about 10% of the shares of the company but 1% of the total assets of the Fund. The impact of the significant movement in the share price on the GEPF is significant but manageable.
As a defined benefit fund, the movement in the value of individual investments does not affect the benefits to members and pensioners. Therefore benefits to members and pensioners are safe.
The GEPF expects the highest standards of corporate governance from all investee companies. Allegations of accounting irregularities by Steinhoff International Holdings N.V., that have exposed the company to possible criminal investigations, are serious concerns for the GEPF.
The GEPF through the PIC is monitoring the situation while awaiting further information from investigations by domestic and international regulators and/or law enforcement agencies, to decide on an appropriate course of action.