Unclaimed Retirement Benefits

The latest Annual Report of the Registrar of Pension Funds states that approximately Twenty billion Rand in unclaimed benefits is owed to about 3.5 million beneficiaries.

Many funds employ the services of tracing agents to get in touch with “lost” fund members or beneficiaries. The Registrar also notes that it is aware of individuals who assist members to claim their benefits, and who charge a fee for such a service.

“The FSB will assist a member, former member or beneficiary directly and request that agents should provide the FSB’s contact details to the member/former member/beneficiary in order for that person to directly contact our office.”

“Although the FSB is not against members being represented, we have to be cautious that the organisation is promoting members’ interests by ensuring they are not exploited and have to pay fees for a free service. The FSB cannot be seen to be promoting a business practice that may be considered as undesirable.”

“If an individual intends to act as the agent of the member/former member/beneficiary, such an individual must provide proof in the form of an affidavit signed by this person in which it is confirmed that the member/former member/ beneficiary is aware and has been informed of the FSB’s contact details, but that despite this, the person still wishes to use the agent’s services, to claim any unclaimed benefits he/she may be entitled to receive from a retirement fund.”

“Details should be provided in the affidavit of the rates the agent charges clients for this service and proof of the agent’s FAIS accreditation to provide such financial and intermediary services.

I found the following statement rather curious, in light of the above requirement:

“Funds also do not report to the FSB specifically on tracing activities at this stage as tracing agents do not currently fall under the FSB’s supervision or regulation at this stage.

Click here to download the Q & A document on which this article was based.

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