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Previously when an employer establishes a new pension or provident fund or joins an umbrella fund for the first time, existing employees had up to 12 months to make application to join that fund. An employee who failed to make application to join within the 12 month period would not be permitted to join that fund at any later stage.

This aspect was pointed out to National Treasury two years ago and they agreed that the limit was restrictive and creates policy anomalies.

The 12 months limit has been removed with effect from 1 March 2018 so that employees who were already in service of a particular employer are allowed to join that fund at any time, subject to the rules of the fund.