An evaluation of the parametric amendments of legislation relating to the distribution of retirement benefits upon divorce
This thesis will examine the effects of divorce on the benefit payable to a member of a retirement fund, where divorce has occurred before the member has reached retirement age. In particular, parametric (that is, piecemeal) amendments to the relevant legislation will be analysed in order to outline the development of the legislation relating to divorce and the consequent distribution of assets (including retirement savings). The previous and current legal position in South Africa relating to divorce and retirement savings will be set out and critically analysed to determine whether the current position can be regarded as an improvement upon the previous legal position, or whether other and/or new problems in this area have been created. Parametric amendments to relevant legislation have thus far been the subject of many cases in our courts and adjudicative tribunals. A systemic overhaul of a particular area of law is a useful tool in providing legal certainty and clarifying the laws applicable to that area. This thesis will therefore argue in favour of a systemic overhaul of the legislation applicable to the allocation of retirement benefits at divorce, as opposed to the ineffectual parametric (i.e. piecemeal) amendments that have been implemented thus far. An essential aspect of this study is a comparative study of South African legal principles relating to retirement benefits and divorce with the legal principles of this subject in the United Kingdom (UK).