It’s hard to imagine that with everything that’s happened in the past two years, people still have money out there that remains unclaimed. But if you’re part of the 4.8 million South Africans with unclaimed benefits, you could be in for a substantial payday without having to do much work to get this money.
After all, this is savings you’ve already made, so why not claim from the billions already available?
If you’re unsure about how to go about doing this, this step-by-step guide will help you retrieve your unclaimed retirement benefits.
What is An Unclaimed Retirement Benefit?
Your benefit is described as “unclaimed” only if you have not retrieved it in 24 months after it became due to you. It’s not only retirement funds that fall into this category but several other benefits, including:
- Death Benefit: If a beneficiary is identified but has not claimed their benefit.
- Surplus Benefit: If there is an excess in a fund, this benefit is paid out to active and former fund members.
- Withdrawal Benefit: You’ll gain access to this benefit if your employment is terminated, you’re retrenched, or you resign.
Of the unclaimed benefits, 60% belong to employer funds for those in the mining, motor, metal, and engineering funds.
The number of people with unclaimed benefits is rising, as nearly 1 million people, with a cumulative sum of $9.6 billion, had unclaimed benefits in 2019.
That means that even as more people claim their unclaimed benefits, more people are being added to the number every year.
Do You Qualify for an Unclaimed Benefit?
Most of the people with unclaimed benefits never claimed from the retirement fund they contributed to when they resigned, were retrenched, or had their employment terminated by a previous employer.
For that reason, you will most likely qualify for an unclaimed benefit if you have an employment history.
However, you could also qualify for an unclaimed benefit if, at any time, you were a beneficiary of any retirement fund or were listed as a beneficiary for a death benefit.
3 Steps to Find Out If You Have an Unclaimed Benefit
If you’ve contributed to a pension fund at a former employer, you can follow this easy 3-step process to determine if you’re owed any money from the fund.
Step 1: Visit the FSCA’s Website
Start the process by visiting the FSCA website.
Step 2: Use The Online Search Engine to Find Outstanding
Scroll to the section that says customers, and click on “Unclaimed Benefits.” You will then be redirected to the unclaimed benefit page.
Once on that page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button that says “Unclaimed Benefits Search Engine.”
Using this search engine, you can find out if you have any unclaimed benefits.
Step 3: Enter Your Details and Submit
On the FSCA’s unclaimed benefit search engine, you must specify if you’re conducting the information on your behalf or on behalf of someone else.
If you’re conducting it on behalf of someone else, you will need to enter their full name and surname in addition to agreeing that you’ve received their consent to search.
After completing this process, enter the following details into the search engine:
- Full name
- Cell Number
- Email Address
Give consent to the FSCA to retain your personal information and to give your details to the fund administrators if there’s a match.
Using The FSCA to Find Out if You Are Owed Money From an Unclaimed Pension Fund
You don’t only have to use the FSCA search engine to find out if you are owed money. You can also complete a search using one of the following options to conduct a request to determine if you have any unclaimed benefits:
You can send an email request to the following email addresses:
Use Pensions.UBMemberID@FSCA.co.za if you think you know who may owe you an unclaimed benefit. You will also need to send your ID number in the email.
For general enquiries, send an email to Pensions.UBQuery@FSCA.co.za.
SMS one of the following numbers to determine whether you have an unclaimed pension fund benefit. Also, remember that you will be charged for the SMS.
If you want to know which fund owes you money, SMS your ID number to 30913.
If you’re unsure about if you have an unclaimed benefit, SMS 30766 for a general enquiry.
You can also conduct a telephonic request by calling the FSCA’s toll-free number at 080 020 3722.
As many of the unclaimed beneficiaries are in rural areas, making them difficult to trace, the FSCA has also instituted a request via letter.
You can send a letter to:
PO Box 35655 Menlo Park Pretoria 0102
If you reside in or close to Pretoria, you can also conduct a walk-in request by visiting the FSCA’s offices at the River Walk Office Park:
Block B River Walk Office Park 41 Matroosberg Road Ashlea Gardens Pretoria
Steps to Claim Your Share of The Unclaimed Retirement Benefits
The purpose of the FSCA is only to confirm that you have an unclaimed retirement or pension fund benefit and not to help assist with a withdrawal of this money.
Therefore, if you want to withdraw the money, you’ll need to complete the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Contact The Fund Administrators to Confirm and Get Your Claim Form
If you have an unclaimed benefit, the FSCA will provide you with the contact information for the fund or the fund administrators. Use these contact details to communicate with the fund and initiate the process.
Your first communication should be to confirm that you have an unclaimed benefit. You will need to provide your ID number and possibly full names and surnames for them to relinquish this information. If the fund confirms that you have an unclaimed benefit, ask for a claim form to initiate a withdrawal.
Step 2: Provide Supporting Documentation
You will need to provide your ID number and possibly a certified copy of your ID. You may also need to send tax information in addition to any relevant documentation that is requested in the claim form.
Step 3: Follow Up With The Fund
After submitting the supporting documentation, you should contact the fund to ensure they’ve received the form and any documentation. If they need any more details from you, be sure to send that information in a timeous manner.
If you have any more questions, you can call the FSCA on 080 020 3722 or you can contact a fund directly if you think you know where you may have an unclaimed benefit.
How do I find out if I have unclaimed pension in South Africa?
Visit the FSCA website, which has a built-in search engine to check if you are owed any benefits.
If you have been unable to find information about your pension fund online and you believe you may have a claim, please contact the FSCA on 0800 002 011 or email email@example.com for assistance in finding out if you
How do I check my unclaimed Old Mutual benefits?
To check and see if you have any unclaimed Old Mutual benefits, you will need to go through the company’s website. First, you will need to find their benefits page. Once you have found it, you will need to enter your name and date of birth. If you have any unclaimed benefits, they will be displayed on the page.
How to Find Unclaimed Money
There are a few ways that you can find unclaimed money in South Africa. One way is to check the website of the National Treasury, which is where unclaimed money from various government bodies is listed. Another way is to check with the South African Revenue Service (SARS), which keeps a database of all unclaimed money and assets in the country.