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PFA: No benefit due as deceased was no longer member of the fund

11 April 2011 Pension Funds Adjudicator
Dr Elmarie de la Rey

Dr Elmarie de la Rey

A provident fund was not entitled to pay any death benefit due to the fact that the deceased was no longer a member of the fund when he passed away, the acting Pension Funds Adjudicator has ruled.

Dr Elmarie de la Rey dismissed a complaint concerning the non-payment of a death benefit brought by M D Sekoere against Murray & Roberts Provident Fund (first respondent) and Murray & Roberts Mining Contracting Company (Pty) Ltd (second respondent).

The complainant was the spouse of the late T D Sekoere who passed away on 27 April 2006. She submitted that the deceased was employed by Murray & Roberts Mining Contractors at the time of his death. She further submitted that he started to contribute to the first respondent from 2004 until he passed away on 27 April 2006. She wanted the deceased’s contributions paid to her.

The respondents submitted that the deceased was employed by Murray & Roberts Mining Contractors from 9 July 2001. Due to operational requirements, on 7 June 2005 notices were served to all employees that the contract would be terminated on 23 August 2005. They further submitted that severance packages were paid to effected employees (including the deceased). They stated that this was the last time that he was part of their company.

The respondents further submitted proof of payment of the deceased’s benefit which was paid on 20 September 2005.

Based on the respondents’ submissions, Dr De la Rey was satisfied the deceased was no longer a member of the first respondent at the time of his death. His employment was terminated on 23 August 2005 and his severance package was paid to him, including his fund credit, on 20 September 2005. The respondents provided a copy of the proof of payment of the withdrawal benefit.

“The complainant is not entitled to receive any death benefit due to the fact that the deceased was no longer a member of the first respondent when he passed away. The first respondent had paid him his withdrawal benefit. No further benefit is payable,” Dr De la Rey ruled in dismissing the complaint.

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