Losing a loved one can be a painful experience, and dealing with their finances can add an extra layer of stress. If you are based in South Africa, you may be wondering what happens to unclaimed funds when someone passes away. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about unclaimed funds for deceased in South Africa.
Understanding Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
Unclaimed funds refer to money that belongs to someone but has not been claimed. These funds can be in the form of bank accounts, insurance policies, pension funds, and other investments. In South Africa, unclaimed funds are governed by the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act (UFAA) of 2004. This act regulates how unclaimed funds are handled by financial institutions and the government.
Moreover, check Sassa status here.
How Unclaimed Funds are Handled in South Africa
When a financial institution becomes aware of unclaimed funds, they are required by law to report it to the Registrar of Unclaimed Financial Assets. The Registrar will then publish the details of the unclaimed funds in the Government Gazette, and the information will be available for public scrutiny. Financial institutions are also required to make reasonable efforts to locate the owner of the unclaimed funds before they report it.
What are unclaimed benefits or Funds?
An unclaimed benefit is one that has not been claimed by the member despite their leaving the Fund and their final day of employment being known. According to the Fund’s rules, the member does not receive the benefit within 24 months of their last day of service.
Also, read Sassa Old Age Pension Payout Dates
Who is eligible to get unclaimed benefits?
- Unclaimed benefits may be claimed by the following individuals:
- GEPF members who have retired or are no longer active
- No longer serving or deceased GEPF members’ beneficiaries
- Guardians of GEPF members’ beneficiaries
What causes Funds to go unclaimed?
Unclaimed benefits are usually due to the following reasons:
- Exit paperwork for members – Z102 forms submitted when they leave the Fund – were either not submitted or had inaccuracies.
- There is insufficient information about the spouses or beneficiaries of deceased members for them to claim their benefits or for the fund to pay them.
- Due to the poor state of the members’ or beneficiaries’ tax affairs, such as not being registered for tax or not filing tax returns, the GEPF cannot obtain a tax directive from SARS.
- Incorrect banking information, frozen or dormant accounts, and wrong pay points result in benefits being returned to the GEPF.
Benefits from pensions and provident funds cannot be distributed through a member’s will and must be distributed directly to the member’s dependents. In the event that a member does not have any dependents, benefits will be paid to their designated beneficiaries. A member’s nomination list will be reviewed by fund trustees when he or she passes away. Their next step will be to determine who will receive the person’s pension payments as dependents.
Also, check SASSA Payment Dates For June
Where can I find unused pension benefits?
By using the Registrar of Pension Funds’ search engine, you can determine whether any unclaimed benefits are owed to you via the Financial Service Conduct Authority (FSCA) website.
Researchers will need to enter basic information, such as their names, surnames, identification numbers, names of funds, employers, etc., in order to see if there is a possible match. The contact information for the fund and/or administrator will be provided upon successful matching.
How to Search for Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
If you believe that you or a loved one may have unclaimed funds in South Africa, you can search for it on the website of the Registrar of Unclaimed Financial Assets. You will need to provide personal information such as your name, ID number, and contact details. If your search is successful, you will need to follow the process to claim the funds.
What Happens to Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
If the owner of the unclaimed funds cannot be found, the funds will be held by the government. The funds will be invested, and the interest earned will be used to finance government programs. The government will hold the funds indefinitely until the rightful owner or their heirs come forward to claim them.
Also, read How to Withdraw Money Without SASSA Card?
Unclaimed funds in South Africa
Due to the fact that they have not claimed retirement savings, millions of South Africans may not know that they are owed money. In order to save this money, they contributed to retirement plans during their working years.
In order to ensure these former participants or their beneficiaries receive the money they deserve, retirement plan administrators work hard to locate them.
In the past decade, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) and retirement fund managers have worked together to find a solution to the problem of unclaimed benefits. Approximately 4.8 million South Africans are left with unclaimed funds totaling approximately R42 billion, according to estimates from the retirement funds sector.
A combined R2.3 billion remains unclaimed by more than 200 000 former fund participants managed by Liberty. A task team of tracing agents has been assigned by Liberty to locate these recipients.
One of the most recent members of the tracing task force is Transaction Capital Recoveries, a well-known provider of credit management services. It has been successful for Liberty to locate and reimburse approximately R380 million in assets in the past year.
How to Claim Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
To claim unclaimed funds in South Africa, you will need to follow a specific process. First, you will need to prove that you are the rightful owner of the funds. You will need to provide personal identification documents and any other relevant documentation such as a death certificate. Once your claim is verified, you will need to provide bank account details for the funds to be transferred to you.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
In South Africa, the rightful owner of unclaimed funds or their heirs can claim the funds. If the owner of the funds is deceased, the funds will be transferred to their estate. If the estate has not been finalized, the funds will be held until the estate is settled.
How to Prevent Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
To prevent unclaimed funds in South Africa, it is important to keep your finances in order. This includes regularly checking your bank accounts, insurance policies, and other investments. Additionally, it is important to keep your personal information up to date with financial institutions. If you move or change your contact details, make sure to inform your bank, insurance company, and other financial institutions to ensure that they can contact you if needed. It is also important to have a valid will that clearly outlines your wishes for your finances after your passing.
Guardian’s Fund List
The following funds were announced by Guardian according to districts.
|GoN 2537 Pension Funds Act (24/1956)||There are unclaimed benefits from the Nzalo Umbrella Provident Fund|
|GoN 2538 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Pretoria & Mmabatho High Court: Master of the Guardian’s Fund|
|GoN 2539 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||The Master of the Northern Cape High Court – Kimberley, as amended|
|GoN 2540 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||The Guardian’s Fund is administered by the Master of the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown, 46982 315|
|GoN 2542 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||The Guardian’s Fund: Bloemfontein|
|GoN 2543 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Pretoria & Mmabatho High Court: Master of the Guardian’s Fund|
|GoN 2541 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)||Master’s Office of Cape Town: Guardian’s Fund|
Common Misconceptions About Unclaimed Funds in South Africa
There are several misconceptions about unclaimed funds in South Africa. One of the most common is that financial institutions keep the funds for themselves. In reality, financial institutions are required by law to report unclaimed funds to the government. Another misconception is that unclaimed funds are easy to access. While the process to claim unclaimed funds is straightforward, it can take time and effort to gather the necessary documentation and follow the steps to claim the funds.
Importance of Keeping Your Finances in Order
Keeping your finances in order is not only important for preventing unclaimed funds but also for your overall financial well-being. Regularly reviewing your bank accounts, insurance policies, and other investments can help you identify any discrepancies or errors. It can also help you identify areas where you may be overspending or underutilizing your finances.
Can anyone claim unclaimed funds in South Africa?
No, only the rightful owner of the funds or their heirs can claim the funds.
How long does it take to claim unclaimed funds in South Africa?
The process can take several weeks to months, depending on the complexity of the claim.
What happens if the owner of unclaimed funds is deceased?
The funds will be transferred to the owner’s estate or held until the estate is settled.
Are financial institutions required to report unclaimed funds?
Yes, financial institutions are required by law to report unclaimed funds to the government.
Can unclaimed funds be used to finance government programs?
Yes, the interest earned on unclaimed funds is used to finance government programs.
Dealing with the finances of a deceased loved one can be a difficult and stressful experience. However, understanding the process of unclaimed funds in South Africa can help you navigate this process more easily. By keeping your finances in order and regularly checking for unclaimed funds, you can prevent this from happening to your own finances.
Moreover, check SASSA Grant Increases here.