Unclaimed Provident Funds for Deceased: What are Provident Funds? A pension is a type of employer-provided retirement savings plan credited with a certain number of guaranteed lifetime income. A pension plan is defined as an arrangement by which employees of a company or organization can make regular payments in return for their retirement benefits that are used to pay for living expenses after retirement.
The lump sum benefit or pension may be collected at the retirement stage. This occurs when the member retires and proves that he or she can work no longer. The amount to be paid then as a part of one-third is deposited in a bank. The remaining two-thirds is paid out as a standard monthly pension at the rate of $3,709 per month for those who have worked for 15 years or more. Unclaimed funds are generated from previous payouts made by retirement fund banks under the Pension Fund Act.
How do unclaimed benefits or funds work?
If you forget to claim your unclaimed benefits, the funds are in good hands. They can be used for two purposes, firstly, the Fund can pay out this money to a new retiree, who hasn’t yet died or has not become sick, in case the previous retiree actually dies before the end of the term. Secondly, if no one passes away after three years from when these benefits should have been claimed and someone in fact does pass away, all the unclaimed benefit is paid out to his/her family.
Unclaimed benefits are available to who?
- Unclaimed benefits may be claimed by the following individuals:
- GEPF members who have retired or are no longer active
- No longer serving or deceased members of the GEPF’s beneficiaries
- Guardians of GEPF members’ beneficiaries
Unclaimed funds: what causes them?
Unclaimed benefits are most commonly caused by:
- Members’ exit paperwork – Z102 forms filed when they quit the Fund were either not submitted or inaccurate.
- To allow deceased members’ spouses and beneficiaries to claim benefits or for the fund to pay them, the GEPF lacks sufficient information about them.
- In some cases, the GEPF cannot get a tax directive from SARS because the members’ or beneficiaries’ tax affairs are not in order, such as when they are not registered for tax or have not filed their tax returns.
- As a result of inaccurate banking information, frozen accounts, or wrong pay points, benefits are paid but returned to the GEPF.
When a pension or provident fund member passes away, the members’ spouses and dependents are given the money that was intended for them. The money is paid to their beneficiaries as intended, which means it is not subject to a member’s will. After all, this is a retirement benefit that has been built up over years of work and sacrifice. That said, you should be aware that when someone dies with an active pension and/or provident funds account, the money is unavailable until the next annual election period (typically every five years) opens.
What are the steps I need to take in order to locate any unused pension benefits?
Are you wondering if your missing pensions may be sitting in the Unclaimed Benefits section of the Registrar of Pension Funds (ROPF)? For example, do you know someone who claims a pension but has not yet been paid out? Or perhaps you’ve even forgotten about a pension claim that was made years ago? Whatever your reason for wanting to find a match with this database.
South African unclaimed funds
If you find yourself in this situation, then you’re certainly not alone. It’s estimated that millions of South Africans have not claimed their retirement savings and are owed money. These individuals were able to contribute while they were working and receive “transfers” or “returns” to their pension accounts. The problem is that some funds get lost in the system after restructuring (known as “replacing”) funds into new investment products, or when a fund administrator contacts all its members or stakeholders to find out whether they want information on new investments or not. In some cases, people might also forget about the return they received because it was made up of other people’s pensions whose beneficiaries have since died or moved away from their area
Financial Sector Conduct Authority
You may have heard of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) and its partnership with retirement fund managers to find a solution to the unclaimed benefits problem for more than ten years. According to estimates from the retirement fund sector, at least four and eight million South Africans have unclaimed funds totaling over R42 billion. In other words, about 40% of the entire population has unclaimed funds sitting in their retirement accounts. While the problem is not as widespread now as it was during the 2008 financial crisis, that does not mean that it isn’t still affecting people’s lives.
Liberty has assigned its largest task team, consisting of tracing agents and communication experts, to find and locate former fund participants who have not yet claimed their share of a combined R2.3 billion.
Exactly how does one recover assets from a lost or stolen vehicle? It’s a question that many people have asked. While some individuals think it’s impossible to recover their vehicle, Liberty has successfully helped hundreds of clients recover more than R180 million in assets over the past 10 years.
Guardian’s Fund List
Guardian’s fund list announced the following funds in accordance with districts.
|GoN 2537 Pension Funds Act (24/1956)||Unclaimed benefits from the Nzalo Umbrella Provident Fund|
|GoN 2538 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Guardian’s Fund: Master of the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria & Mmabatho)|
|GoN 2539 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||as amended: Master of the Northern Cape High Court – Kimberley|
|GoN 2540 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Guardian’s Fund: Master of the Eastern Cape High Court – Grahamstown 46982 315|
|GoN 2542 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Guardian’s Fund: Bloemfontein|
|GoN 2543 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Guardian’s Fund: Master of the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria & Mmabatho)|
|GoN 2541 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Guardian’s Fund: Cape Town Master’s Office|
South Africa has a wealth of options when it comes to managing your retirement funds. During the apartheid era, and the years of divided government that followed it, the situation was different: The State which was supposed to be responsible for looking after its own people (through direct tax collection), had been privatizing its business interests, leaving individual savers with limited options in terms of retirement funding.