Funds urged to do more to pay their beneficiaries

21 August 2015 FSB

Retirement funds must take all reasonable steps to trace and pay millions of their members and beneficiaries who remain untraced, the Deputy Registrar of Pension Funds, Rosemary Hunter said on Wednesday.

Addressing the media at the FSB, Hunter reminded pension funds that their primary purpose is to pay benefits to their members and they must therefore find ways to trace and pay these beneficiaries, both local and foreign.

It is estimated that at least 3.5-million people are owed about R20-billion in benefits that remain unclaimed. A recent review in the mining industry alone estimated that at least R5.2-billion is owed to 200 000.

“Funds should insist that employers supply them with up-to-date contact information, including ID numbers, cell phone numbers, etc. The funds must consider the use of social media as a means for advertising unclaimed benefits or for tracing beneficiaries,” said Hunter.

Hunter also warned the potential beneficiaries to be wary of intermediaries who offered to help them claim their benefits, often charging an exorbitant fee, adding it is important to establish if the intermediaries are authorised by the funds to perform this function – in which case it is the fund that must pay for the service, not the members.

The FSB assists members or beneficiaries in trying to trace benefits or shares of allocated surpluses they believe to be due to them if provided with relevant and sufficient information. The FSB does this by liaising with the funds and/or their administrator and does not charge a fee for this service.

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