South Africa has a pot of R47 billion worth of unclaimed benefits. Could some of it be yours?
An unclaimed benefit can be claimed in perpetuity. By law, any unpaid benefits in a retirement fund must stay in the fund or be transferred to a designated unclaimed benefit fund until they are claimed. So, keep calm and carry on gathering the necessary documents to claim what’s yours.
Ata wants to know…
What is an unclaimed benefit?
An unclaimed benefit refers specifically to benefits due from a retirement fund. It includes the following types of benefits:
- Once you retire you receive a retirement benefit.
- If your employment is terminated, you are retrenched or resign you receive a withdrawal benefit.
- A benefit payable by a fund upon the death of a member is a death benefit.
- A surplus benefit is when a surplus amount in a fund is distributed to active and former members.
If the fund member or beneficiary does not claim any of the above benefits within 24 months from the due date, they are classified as “unclaimed”.
Beneficiaries include pensioners, spouses, children and/or dependants of fund members, and other beneficiaries nominated by the fund member. If you belonged to a retirement fund and were not paid out the benefits, or you are a dependant or related to such a member, you might be eligible for a scoop of those billions.
How do I claim?
- If you know the name of the fund to which you or your family member belonged, you can contact the fund directly.
- If you do not know how to contact the fund, you can consult the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) unclaimed benefit search engine. The FSCA also offers various other channels:
Email enquiry with ID number
General email enquiry
SMS enquiry with ID
General SMS enquiry
0800 20 3722 (toll-free)
Riverwalk Office Park, Block B, 41 Matroosberg Road, Ashlea Gardens, Pretoria
PO Box 35655
Bear in mind, the FSCA can assist you only in finding the retirement fund and providing you with the contact details. Once you have the details, you will have to file a claim with the relevant fund. Brace yourself for a lot of paperwork!
To claim, you need the following documents:
- Any document (for example a pay slip or retirement fund benefit statement) that will show to which retirement fund you belonged
- The most recent document or correspondence from the retirement fund
- ID number
Guardians, caregivers, dependants or nominated beneficiaries of a former member who has died
- Any document that will show which retirement fund the member belonged to, such as a pay slip or his/her retirement fund benefit statement
- The most recent document or correspondence from the retirement fund in the member’s possession
- The member’s ID number
- Proof that you are the dependant or legal guardian or caregiver of the member, such as an unabridged birth certificate where a parent is claiming a benefit for a minor child
- Proof of the member’s death or death certificate
- Your ID number, as well as the contact details of the person on whose behalf you are claiming
- Marriage certificate if you are claiming as a spouse or proof of your long-term relationship with the member
If you are struggling to submit a claim, download this step-by-step guide to filing claims for unpaid benefits, which was developed by the Unpaid Benefits Campaign.