The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has regularly reminded South Africans that there are billions of rand in unclaimed pension benefits – hence it is important to know how to check your name on FSCA’s search engine.
Unclaimed benefits occur when a member or beneficiary of a retirement fund does not claim his/her benefits within a 24-month period from the date they became legally due and payable.
These benefits amounted to a staggering R44.9 billion at the last count, according to the FSCA’s Olano Makhubela, who revealed the figure during an interview with Cape Talk in December 2021.
A previous interview in April 2021 also revealed that 4.8 million South Africans have not made their claims. This is often caused by lack of knowledge about how to claim. Sometimes, a member of a pension fund passes away before informing his/her family that they have a pension scheme.
Besides pension, other unclaimed benefits may include:
- Withdrawal benefit, which may be payable upon termination of employment, retrenchment, or resignation.
- Death benefit, which may be payable to beneficiaries of a life insurance policy when the insured person passes away.
- Surplus benefit, which may be payable because of a distribution of surplus in the fund to active and former members of the fund.
“I think [for] a good 40 percent of [beneficiaries] of that money, we are not going to be able to find the rightful owners,” Makhubela said.
He added that there is a proposal to use the funds for “social objectives” if beneficiaries cannot be traced after a certain period. Currently, however, the funds are kept safe until they are eventually claimed.
How to check your name on FSCA
To check your name on FSCA, visit the Authority’s unclaimed benefits search engine page. You will be required to confirm if you’re searching for yourself or on someone’s behalf.
You will also need to provide details about yourself, such as name, surname, name of employer, cellphone number and email address. If your name or that of the person you’re searching for appears, the page will display the contact details of the retirement fund and/or administrator.
You will then need to contact the fund or administrator directly to lodge your claim, according to the FSCA.
FSCA contact details
Other search channels include the following FSCA contact details:
- Email inquiry – ID number: Pensions.UBmemberID@FSB.co.za.
- Email inquiry – general request: Pensions.UBQuery@FSB.co.za.
- SMS inquiry – ID number: 30913.
- SMS inquiry – general request: 30766.
- Fax submissions: 086 578 1183.
- Toll-free telephone number: 0800 20 3722.
- Walk-in inquiry: River Walk Office Park, Block B, 41 Matroosberg Road, Ashlea Gardens, Pretoria.
- Written inquiry: PO Box 35655, Menlo Park, Pretoria 0102.