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Do you have an unclaimed benefit with the GEPF?

Sep 2, 2021

Do you have an unclaimed benefit with the GEPF?The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is concerned with the increase in the number of unclaimed benefits and wants to pay them out.

If you are a former government employee who did not claim a pension on retirement, it is possible that you have money owed to you. If you are a dependent of a deceased person who worked for the government, and whose pension was never claimed at the time of their death, you could possibly also have a claim. This could also relate to individuals who were minor children at the time of a parent’s death but who are now adults.

An unclaimed benefit occurs when a member leaves the fund, retires, or passes away, but the benefit is not paid to the member or beneficiary within 24 months of the last day of service in line with the rules of the Fund.

The main reasons for benefits not being claimed is usually an administration issue. Therefore, it is important for members to ensure that their information is up to date, especially their nomination forms. As a member you need to make sure your nomination forms are up to date with the latest contact details of your beneficiaries.

These are some of the reasons claims are not processed:

  • A member’s exit documents, known as Z102, may not have been submitted when the member left the fund, or contained errors that have not been rectified.
  • The GEPF is unable to get a tax directive from SARS as the member or beneficiaries’ tax affairs are not in order. This could be because they are not registered for tax or have outstanding tax returns.
  • The benefits are paid but are returned to the GEPF due to incorrect banking details, frozen or dormant accounts, or incorrect pay points.
  • The GEPF does not have enough information in respect of the deceased member’s spouse(s) or beneficiaries to enable them to claim their benefits or for the fund to pay the benefits to them.

How to claim an unclaimed benefit

If the applicant is a member who has retired or resigned, the following documents are needed to claim an unclaimed benefit:

  • A completed Banking Details form (Form Z894);
  • A certified copy of the applicant’s ID (not older than six months);
  • An updated Personal Details form (Form Z864).

If the applicant is a beneficiary of a deceased member, such as a spouse or child, the following documents are needed to claim an unclaimed benefit:

  • The member’s death certificate;
  • A certified copy of the beneficiary’s ID (not older than six months);
  • A completed Banking Details form (Form Z894);
  • A guardian letter in the case of minor beneficiaries; and
  • A certified copy of the guardian’s ID (not older than six months).

GEPF has a dedicated unclaimed benefits team for each province. You can find the contact details on the GEPF website.

How the death benefit is determined

The benefit will be determined by your relationship to and financial dependency on the deceased member.

The GEPF has a set of guidelines that determine the amount paid.

A spouse could qualify for a death benefit and spousal pension. A minor child could qualify for a child’s pension, and an adult child, if named as a beneficiary, could receive a share of the death benefit.

If there are no financial dependents and the member specified the beneficiary on the nomination form, then payment would be made based on the percentages selected in the nomination form.

The claims will be assessed and determined by the trustees of the GEPF.

This article first appeared in City Press.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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