There are many reasons why billions of rands are still unclaimed. These include the failure of employers and funds to provide information about benefits, poor administration, the fact that many foreign workers who are owed benefits leave the country soon after their work permits expire, the failure of members to inform their dependants that they can claim benefits on their death, and the failure of funds to trace members. Out duty is to help and inform the beneficiaries to claim their benefits.
The Financial Services Board (FSB) has moved to clarify its efforts to resolve the ballooning problem of unclaimed pension benefits, even as civil society campaigners step up a drive to help workers to reclaim billions owed to them.
By 2016, more than R42-billion in unclaimed benefits had been amassed in the pensions system, the FSB said at a media roundtable earlier this week.
About R7.6-billion is held in specially created unclaimed benefits preservation funds, and about R34.7-billion is held in occupational funds, or retirement funds, created by employers for their employees and which are active.
The amount of money unclaimed by beneficiaries began to rise dramatically from about 2010, with a sharp leap between 2013 and 2014, FSB data shows.
Members also make use of social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and approach professional membership bodies.
• For more information on the FSB’s unclaimed benefits search process, go to: mg.co.za/FSBprocess
• Members of the public who would like to know if there are any possible unclaimed benefits due to them can access the online search engine at: mg.co.za/FSBsearch