Have you claimed your retirement fund benefits?

If you have changed employment during your working life and never claimed your benefits, you can do so.

DID you claim your retirement fund benefits when you left your employer?

If you have changed employment during your working life and never claimed your benefits, you can do so.

Most employees belong to a retirement fund.

All you need is to check your pay slip to confirm whether you have made any contributions or not.

Even if you have changed employment during your working live, you can still claim your benefits, says Ian Haigh, a director at Bophelo Benefit Services.

"When employees change employers they move on without claiming their benefits because they do not know they belong to a fund. They also don't know that unclaimed monies could be transferred to the Guardians Fund run by the Master of the High Court or to an unclaimed benefit fund or may stay in the fund they belonged to if not claimed after 24 months," he says.

Haigh says anyone who has left their employment and did not take their retirement fund should make enquiries from their old employer or if they know which pension or provident fund they belonged to, then they should approach that fund directly.

Haigh says the mining industry has many unclaimed benefits in both industry and employer funds.

"There are billions of rands in unclaimed benefits that need to be claimed. These monies need to be returned to their members," he says.

Keep your payslips

  • As a fund member you need to be able to prove you worked for the company or mine.
  • You need a copy of a pay slip or appointment letter or employment contract as well as your ID document is necessary.
  • Many pension and provident funds allocated surplus monies to fund members and you may have left that fund before the surplus was distributed to members. If the fund does not have your contact details this money could not be paid out.
  • When you are working for that employer and you belong to a fund you should receive a benefit statement yearly to tell you how much is saved in your name and what other benefits there are for being a fund member.
  • The big umbrella funds, the unclaimed benefit funds and the Guardians Fund employ tracing agents to try and find these members who have left their employer and not claimed their benefit from the fund.
  • You don't need a lawyer or an agents to tell you they can get your money, they may charge you expensive fees.

Make your claim:

THE Financial Services Board's website www.fsb.co.za has a list of names of people who have not claimed their benefits.

You can check there first, and if your name comes up then contact your fund.

You can also contact the Guardians Fund through the Master of the High Court offices on the following telephone numbers:Bloemfontein: 051-448-2128 or 051-448-2128

  • Cape Town: 021-410-8390/1
  • Grahamstown: 047-531-2361;
  • Pietermaritzburg: 033-342-0614/43/56/72/73;
  • Pretoria: 012-339-7700
  • Mmabatho: 018-381-0006;
  • Kimberley: 053-831-1942
  • Bhisho: 083-491-2255;
  • Thohoyandou: 015-962-1027

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