About 4.8 million South Africans have unclaimed pension benefits, according to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and according to Cape Talk, the unclaimed pension pot is said to be worth a whopping R42 billion. It seems millions of, perhaps, cash-strapped people may not know how to claim what is rightfully theirs.
Africa Melane asked the Project Lead of Unclaimed Benefits at Liberty, Kabelo van der Merwe how to find out if you are one of the 4.8 million, and how to claim if you are.
Van der Merwe said people can simply visit the FSCA website and look for the search function. Here the registrar of Pension funds provided a central database on the FSCA website to assist members of the public to ascertain through the search engine if there are any unclaimed benefits due to them.
People can then simply type in the name of the person (grandfather, uncle, parent, etc.) you think may have passed without anybody claiming.
According to Business Tech, if there is a successful match, the enquirer will be provided with the contact detail of the fund and/or administrator, the FSCA said,
The FSCA said it can only assist by providing the contact details of the relevant fund and/or administrator where after the enquirer will have to contact the fund directly and then follow the normal claims process of a fund to prove a valid claim.
“The issue of people saving up, but not claiming… it’s vastly because of a lack of knowledge… We encourage families to have open discussions about investments… let your family know where it is,” Van der Merwe explained.
Van der Merwe also said that Liberty has no ‘cut-off’ date when the money has to be claimed.
“At Liberty, we have north of R2 billion [in unclaimed benefits] … There is no cut-off… We house it until a claimant comes. Five, 10, 15 years – it doesn’t matter. The money is safe and waiting for you to come forward.”