Zakaatability Of Provident And Pension fund: Summary
1. As discussed, I had the opportunity overnight to review the Zakaatability of Pension and Provident Funds. I briefly summarize as follows:
2. The category of debt owed by the relevant Fund to the member is both secure and strong (QAWI), notionally analogous to:
2.1 Property in one’s possession (see Kitab-ul-Amwaal, paragraph 1236); or
2.2 Wadiah, or deemed possession of deposit (see Mugni, Rule 1937).
3. Pension and Provident benefits are protected, to the extent that they cannot even be attached at the instance of creditors (section 37A and 37B of the Pension Fund Act).
4. I am accordingly of the view that a member of a Pension or Provident Fund should pay Zakah each year on his or her Zakah valuation date on the:
4.1 Aggregate member’s contributions; or
4.2 Where appropriate, on the relevant member’s individual account value (determined on the basis, if he or she were to cease or terminate membership of the fund on the Zakah valuation date).
5. In any event, this is the more cautious view, having regard to the fact that:
- 1the majority (jumhur) concur that Zakah is obligatory each year on all classes of debts, with good prospects of recovery (debtor able to pay);
- 2Imams Abu Yusuf and Muhammad (RA) treat all categories of debts equally as strong (qawi), with Zakah being obligatory thereon, each year prior to possession (see Badai, vol 2, p 90);
- 3Even in the case of doubtful debts, known as “dhunun”, where the creditor does not know whether the debtor will pay or not, there is a reliable view that, once recovered, Zakah is payable for preceding years. (see Kitab-ul-amwaal)
6. I am taking the liberty of circulating this, so that this nothing may benefit from other considered opinions.
AND ALLAH KNOWS BEST
- This question requires a detailed paper on the subject, but time on my side does not permit at this stage.