ONE of South Africa's biggest unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), has the worst performing pension fund in the country.

This was revealed by a report released yesterday by the Office of the Pension Fund Adjudicator (OFPA).

Numsa Staff Pension Fund is administered by NBC Holdings, a holding company administering more than 120 registered retirement funds.

Numsa Staff Pension Fund received 0.00 average and and ranked 290, the last on the log.

The required benchmark is a 7,5 average.

Numsa boasts a membership of more than 260000 members collectively earning R1billion a year and are major holders in provident funds with assets in excess of R100billion.

Adjudicator Mamodupi Mohlala said only two of the 290 pension funds in the country were performing above the benchmark set by the OFPA.

Mohlala said that the 20 worst rated funds would be turned over to the Financial Services Board which will then make a decision on whether to reconsider their licensing.

"Revoking of licences would be of no harm to the members because they could transfer to other funds if it comes to a push," said Mohlala.

The OFPA was launched in September last year to address industry inefficiencies and to help alleviate the current backlog of complaints.

This was done to provide adequate services to pension fund members and to promote the objectives of the Pension Funds Act and compliance with the Financial Services Board regulations.

A total of 4147 complaints were registered in this financial year.

The worst performers are:

l Profusion Umbrella Retirement Fund;

l Sanlam Retirement Fund;

l Crystal Retirement Fund;

l T.O.P. Provident Fund;

l Impala Platinum Pension Fund;

l Firestone/Bridgestone Provident Fund;

l NewTyre Manufacturing Industry Provident Provident Fund;

l Toyota SA Pension Fund and

l Numsa Staff Provident Fund.

The best 10 are:

Fussel Umbrella Pension Fund; Old Mutual Superfund Provident; Primovie Pension Fund; Retail Retirement Fund; Plutos Provident Fund; Distillers Corporation Provident Fund; Harmony Retirement Annuity Fund; Master Adaptor Retirement Annuity Fund; Metropolitan Staff Retirement Fund and Museums Retirement Fund.

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said the timing of the report raised some concerns:

"We hope the report is not feeding to agendas which seek to distract us from dealing with bread and butter issues of workers in this time of recession."