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What happens when I die?

When a GEPF pensioners dies:

  • GEPF will contribute to funeral costs by paying funeral benefits;
  • If the pensioner dies within five years of retiring or being discharged, GEPF will pay the balance of the retirement or discharge annuities to the beneficiaries. (Please refer to Death within five years of retirement.)
  • If the pensioner leaves behind a spouse, life partner or orphaned children, they will qualify for monthly pension benefits. (Details are under Spouse’s annuity and Orphan’s annuity.)

Funeral benefits

This benefit consists of R7 500 for the funeral of the pensioner who has died. This amount is also payable for the funeral of a pensioner’s spouse or life partner. For the funeral of an eligible child, the benefit is R3 000.
Wherever possible, GEPF tries to pay this benefit within 72 hours of receiving the application. The benefit is paid out as a cash lump sum and is taxable.

How can your family access the funeral benefit?

We will accept claims for funeral benefits from the deceased pensioner’s spouse, major child, parent or parent-in-law, brother/sister or brother-in-law/sister-in-law or the executor of the estate. No payment will be made to a funeral undertaker.

The person claiming the funeral benefit must provide the following documents:

  • A correct and completed Funeral Benefit Claim form (Z300).
  • An original certified copy (not older than six months) of the death certificate issued by the Department of Home Affairs;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of the green bar-coded identity document, passport or birth certificate (in the case of a minor child) of the deceased (if applicable);
  • An original certified copy (not older than six months) of the applicant’s green bar-coded identity document or passport;
  • A correct and completed Banking Particulars form (Z894). If this form is not completed and provided, the benefit will be paid via the Post Office.

Important: If the funeral benefit must be paid into a bank, the claim must be posted or hand-delivered to GEPF. If the money is going to be paid into the Post Office, the claim must be faxed or emailed.

Death gratuity

This gratuity is paid to your nominated beneficiaries as a once-off cash lump sum.

How can your beneficiaries access the gratuity?

This depends on whether or not you completed a Beneficiary Nomination Form (WP1002) before your death.

If an up-to-date form was completed and the beneficiaries are 18 years or older, they must:

  • Complete the Banking Particulars form (Z894), and
  • Provide certified copies (not older than six months) of their green bar-coded identity documents.

If a form was completed but the beneficiaries are younger than 18, GEPF needs:

  • Certified copies (not older than six months) of the beneficiaries’ birth certificates;
  • A guardian letter; and
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of the guardian’s green bar-coded identity document.

If no valid beneficiary nomination form exists, GEPF may divide and award the gratuity among the beneficiaries according to the rules of the Fund.

Death within five years of retirement

Retirement or discharge annuities are guaranteed for five years after a GEPF member becomes a pensioner. If a pensioner dies within this period, the balance of the five-year annuities (excluding the annual supplement) is paid to the beneficiaries in a once-off cash lump sum.

How can your beneficiary access this benefit?

Your spouse has to complete the Application for Spouse's Pension and submit it to GEPF with the following documents:

  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of his or her green bar-coded identity document;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of the pensioner’s death certificate;
  • A certified copy of the pensioner’s green bar-coded identity document or passport and confirmation of death by the Department of Home Affairs; and
  • A certified copy of the marriage certificate (religious, customary union or civil) as issued by Home Affairs. Alternatively, the spouse can provide proof of marriage by means of a certified copy of a customary union certificate, Hindu certificate or lobola affidavit and confirmation of the customary union by representatives from both families.

Spouse’s annuity

This is paid to a surviving spouse, including an eligible life partner. If there is more than one eligible spouse, the
annuity is shared equally among them. The spouse’s annuity is a lifelong monthly pension and is not affected by remarriage.

How can your spouse access the annuity?

When a pension dies, the spouse needs to fill in the Application for Spouse Pension form (Z143) and submit it to GEPF, together with the following documents:

  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of his or her green bar-coded identity document;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of the pensioner’s death certificate;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of the pensioner’s green bar-coded identity document or passport and confirmation of death by the Department of Home Affairs; and
  • A certified copy of the marriage certificate (religious, customary union or civil) as issued by Home Affairs. Alternatively, the spouse can provide proof of marriage by means of a certified copy of a customary union certificate, Hindu certificate or lobola affidavit and confirmation of the customary union by representatives from both families.

Child’s Pension

In terms of the legislative change to the GEP Law, the Orphans Pension has been replaced with a Child Pension as of 1 June 2018.

1. What are the main differences between the Orphans Benefit and the Child Pension?

1. To receive the existing orphan’s benefit, both the biological or adoptive parents must have passed away, but to qualify for the new child pension, only the member or pensioner needs to be deceased.

This means that the surviving spouse and children can receive annuities at the same time. 2. A child qualifies for child pension up to the age of 22 – regardless whether or not the child is a student.

3. The formulas used to calculate the benefits differ – child pensioners will receive bigger benefits than the orphans used to.

2. What stays the same?

1. In order to be considered for the benefit, the child must be a biological or adopted child of the deceased member or pensioner – step children or a child who was in the care of the member or pensioner, do not qualify for the benefit – the child must be proven to be legally adopted or a biological child or the deceased member or pensioner;

2. If a child is disabled and fully dependant on the deceased member or pensioner, the child will qualify for the benefit until he or she passes away;

3. In order to qualify for a Funeral Benefit if he or she passes away, a child pensioner must still satisfy the existing funeral benefit requirements i.e. between if a child passes away and he or she is between the ages of 18 and 22, the child must have been a fulltime student. Child pensioners will also receive the stander child funeral benefit.

4. Child pensions are paid to the guardian until the age of 18, at which time the benefit must be paid to the major child pensioner directly.

5. Once the child reaches the age of 18, the child must submit banking details in his or her own name as GEPF is not allowed to pay benefits due to a major child, into the account of another person.

If GEPF is not furnished with the banking particulars of the major child, the benefit will be suspended until the banking details are submitted;

6. Child pensions are subject to tax, but most child pensioners will not be subject to the actual deduction of tax, as they earn less than the minimum tax threshold;

7. The child pensioners are also subject to Auto Life Verification on a yearly basis, or will receive a Life Certificate if they do not pass the ALV verification. This is done to ensure that the child is still alive and entitled to the benefit.

3. What happens to the existing orphans?

1. The existing orphans will be converted to child pensioners as of 1 June 2018.

2. When the orphans are converted to child pensioners, their benefits will be recalculated in terms of the new rules, but only from the date the new legislation comes into effect.

3. In terms of the child pension rules, most of the orphans will receive bigger monthly pensions as of 1 June 2018.

4. Letters will be sent to all the Orphans to explain the change-over, and the letters will be available for reprint on CIVPEN and PORTAL.

4. How are the benefits going to be calculated?

1. If the member or pensioner passed away prior to the date that the new rules come into effect, the claimant (orphan) must satisfy the rules for an orphans pension (i.e. both biological or adoptive parents must be deceased, children between 18-22 must be full time student, etc.)

2. If the member or pensioner passes away after the date the new rules come into effect, the claimant must satisfy the new Child Pensions rules (i.e. only one parent needs to be deceased, benefit payable until 22, etc.)

3. Where the member or pensioner passed away prior to the date the new rules come into effect, the benefit is calculated according to the orphans formulas up to 31 May 2018, and after that date, the rest of the benefit is calculated according to the child pension rule.

4. Child pensions are calculated as a percentage of the annuity the member would have been entitled to on DOD, or the standard annuity the pensioner would have been entitled to on date of death.

This means that the percentage that is awarded to each child will depend on whether or not there is a surviving spouse and how many children there are.

5. What happens with disabled children?

1. Disabled children receive child pensions regardless of their age.

2. The child must prove that he or she is physically or mentally disabled and not capable of providing for him- or herself financially.

3. Once the pension has been awarded, it remains payable until the child pensioner passes away.

4. GPAA will perform auto live verification once a year – if the ALV fails, a life certificate will be sent to the child. If the life certificate is not returned, the benefit will be suspended.

6. How must a child apply for the benefit?

1. There will be a new Child Pension application form (CHP1) available on the GEPF website that must be used for the child pension applications.

2. Each child must apply separately for the benefit, using a separate CHP1 application form and attaching the documentation mentioned in the instructions.

7. How are payments made?

1. Payment to minors will be made to the bank account of the guardian of the child.

2. Children between the ages of 18-22, must be paid to their own bank account.

GEPF will notify the guardian (and child) to change banking details 3 months prior to the 18th birthday of the child. If the banking details are not changed, payment will be suspended. (Section 21 of the GEP Law prohibits us from paying benefits to a third party)

3. If a child is a major and cannot administer his or her own affairs, a curator bonis must be appointed by the High Court and the Master of the High Court must issue an appointment certificate.

8. What happens with late claims?

1. If Child Pensions have already been awarded, and another child claims and is approved, the benefits due to all the child pensioners will be recalculated based on the amount of children claiming.

2. The new child will only receive benefits from the date the claim is received.

3. If the benefits of the other children have to be made less, that will be done from the date that the new claim is received.

4. If an overpayment was made to a spouse, that will be subject to the debt collection policy and process.

9. Are enhanced spouse pensions taken into consideration if a pensioner passes away?

1. No – child pensions are calculated as a percentage of the standard member or pensioner benefit. The reason for this is that the pensioner specifically pays for an enhance spouse benefit on retirement – not an enhanced child pension.

10. What happens if both the parents of a child pass away and both were members of the GEPF?

1. If both the parents of a child pensioner pass away, and both were members or pensioners of the Fund, the child will qualify for a child pension from both parents, as long as all the qualifying criteria are met.

11. Is interest payable on Child pensions?

1. Yes – subject to the in duplum rule i.e. the interest can never be more than the monthly pension payable.

2. The calculation of the interest is based on the accounting period of each separate monthly annuity i.e. interest can only start accruing 60 days after the specific monthly payment becomes due. This means that interest is calculated separately on each monthly pension, and the interest due on each will differ, unless the interest is equal or more than the monthly pension (in which case the in duplum rule applies and the child pensioner receives interest equal to the monthly pension.)

12. Is tax payable on the Child Pension?

2. Yes – the benefit is subject to tax, but if the child receives a benefit less than the tax threshold, there will be no tax deducted.

3. If the child does not have a tax number, GPAA will register the child as a tax payer with SARS and inform the child / guardian of the tax number.
< br> 4. Tax certificates will be issued yearly.

13. What about Life Certificates?

1. Auto Life Verification will be performed for Child Pensioners exactly the same as with the current orphans or pensioners.

2. If a Child cannot be verified as alive against Home Affairs, a life certificate will be generated and sent to the guardian or child. If the life certificate is not returned, the benefit will be suspended until the life certificate is returned.

14. What about Funeral Benefits?

1. Child Pensioners will qualify for a child funeral benefit if they pass away.

2. The standard funeral benefit rules will apply i.e. a child between 18 and 22 must be a fulltime student to qualify for a funeral benefit.

3. Child Pensioners only qualify for standard child funeral benefits.

Examples of benefit calculations:

Death in Service

Member passes away in service with 1 spouse and 5 children. Monthly annuity would have been R10000 per month.

Spouse is entitled to 50%. 5 children are entitled 10% each

1. Spouse gets R5000 pm

2. Children each get R1000 pm

Member passes away in service with 2 spouses and 3 children. Monthly annuity would have been R10000 per month.

Spouses are entitled to 50 % split equally. 3 children are entitled 16.67 % each.

1. Spouses each gets R2500 pm

2. Children each get R 1667.67 pm

Both parents pass away in service with 5 children.

1. Monthly annuity for the father would have been R10000 per month.

2. Monthly annuity for the mother would have been R20 000 per month.

5 children are entitled 20% of each pension.

From the father:

1. Children each get R2000 pm

From the mother:

2. Children each get R4000 pm.

Pensioner death

Pensioner passes away with 1 spouse and 5 children. The pensioner opted for the standard spouse pension. Monthly annuity on DOD is R10000 per month.

Spouse is entitled to 50%. 5 children are entitled 10% each.

3. Spouse gets R5000 pm

4. Children each get R1000 pm

Pensioner passes away with 1 spouse and 5 children. The pensioner opted for the enhanced spouses benefit with reduced gratuity. Monthly annuity on DOD is R10000 per month. (unaffected)

Spouse is entitled to 75% of the pensioner annuity. 5 children are entitled 10% each of the pensioner annuity.

1. Spouse gets R7500 pm

2. Children each get R1000 pm

Benefit now exceeds the pensioner annuity.

Spouse is entitled to 75% of the pensioner annuity “as is”.

5 children are entitled 10% each of the pensioner annuity calculated against the standard annuity the member would have received without reduction. We now have to go back to exit date, calculate what annuity the pensioner would have received had there been no reduction on the annuity (1/55 instead of 1/57). Depending on the years since retirement and the yearly increases, we may calculate that the pensioner’s annuity would normally have been R12000 per month

1. Spouse gets R6000 pm (75% of R10000)

2. Children each get R1200 pm (10% of R12000)

Benefit now exceeds the pensioner annuity.

Retirement or discharge annuities

Retirement or discharge annuities are guaranteed for five years after a GEPF member becomes a pensioner. If a pensioner dies within this period, the balance of the five-year annuities (excluding the annual supplement) is paid to the beneficiaries in a once-off cash lump sum.

How can your beneficiary access this benefit?

Your spouse has to complete the Application for Spouse's Pension form and submit it to GEPF with the following documents:

  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of his or her green bar-coded identity document;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months)of the pensioner’s death certificate;
  • A certified copy (not older than six months)of the pensioner’s green bar-coded identity document or passport and confirmation of death by the Department of Home Affairs; and
  • A certified copy of the marriage certificate (religious, customary union or civil) as issued by Home Affairs. Alternatively, the spouse can provide proof of marriage by means of a certified copy of a customary union certificate, Hindu certificate or lobola affidavit and confirmation of the customary union by representatives from both families.
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