The short answer
If a person’s provident or pension fund has not been claimed, the fund will usually place the money in an Unclaimed Benefits Fund while they wait for it to be claimed.
The whole question
How can I claim the money that my late father, who died before 1994 and had no ID, was said to have left for me? I don’t know the name of the company that he was working for, and all I know is that my late mother claimed death benefits from the UIF with my father's blue card.
The long answer
If a person’s provident or pension fund has not been claimed, the fund will usually place the money in an Unclaimed Benefits Fund while they wait for it to be claimed. The Prescription Act says that a claim will prescribe, in other words, expire, after three years, but it will not expire if the pension or provident fund is a member of the Association of Savings and Investments South Africa (ASISA).
News24.com points out in a 2022 article that ASISA members have agreed that unpaid money can be claimed at any time, and that it will never become the property of the company or its shareholders, in terms of ASISA’s Standard on Unclaimed Assets.
So if you were named as an heir or a beneficiary of your late father’s pension or provident fund, and that fund is a member of ASISA, you should still be able to claim the money.
But you would need to find out where the money is, and to do that, you would need to know the name of the fund your father belonged to. If you knew the name of the company where your father worked, you could ask the Human Resources person at that company which Fund he belonged to.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has a central database with a search engine of all the unclaimed benefits on their website to help members of the public to find out if there are unclaimed benefits due to them. But in order to check for you, you would need to put in your father’s name, surname, ID, the name of the fund and the name of the employer. If the search engine finds a match, you would be given the contact details of the administrator of the fund, and you would have to contact the fund directly to find out how to make the claim.
You can email the FSCA at Pensions.UBQuery@FSCA.co.za or phone them at 0800 20 3722 at their toll-free number.
But your basic problem is that you can’t identify the fund if you don’t know where your father was working. Of course, if you could find the blue UIF card that your late mother used to draw death benefits, it would have the name of your father’s employer on it.
Is it possible to contact other family members who may remember where he worked, or who may have any clues that you could use to find out?
Wishing you the best,
Answered on Feb. 9, 2023, 10:04 a.m.
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