Frequently Asked Questions

What financial options do I have when taking my fund credit?

Your employer has a document that explains the financial options that will apply to your fund benefit when you leave the fund (or you can get a copy from the fund’s Website). It is important that you ask for this document if you are thinking of leaving your employer to see what options you have regarding your fund credit.

Once you have received any portion of your fund credit that you choose to take in cash and / or any balance has been used to buy a pension (annuity), all legal obligations to the fund will cease and the fund will have no further liability to you or your dependants or other beneficiaries.

Do any figures provided in my membership booklet change?

Yes, it is important to note that all insurance premiums for insured benefits, administration fees and tax figures quoted in this booklet are subject to change from time to time. If you are making any decisions as regards your fund benefits that can be affected by income tax legislation, it is recommended that you first consult a certified financial planner.

Kindly contact the trustees or the administrator if you require assistance in getting the services of a certified financial planner.

What is the financial year end of the fund?

Each year the fund has to submit audited financial statements to the Financial Services Board so that they can monitor the financial status of the fund for financial soundness and compliance with the Act.

The financial year-end of the fund is a 12 month period ending on 31 January each year.

Can I see any of the fund documents?

You may request a copy of the general and special rules and the last Annual Financial Statements of the fund at a cost that the fund may wish to charge.

However, if you want to view these documents and the last Valuators report, you may do so at the registered address of the fund at no cost.

What is my “fund salary”?

Your employer will pay over the employer and member contributions based on a percentage of your “fund salary” that is defined as your basic annual salary or wages as agreed between you and your employer.

This salary may not be the full annual salary as it may exclude certain benefits such as your medical aid contribution or a car allowance or other allowance paid by your employer.

What is meant by “Actively At Work” clause?

Your risk benefit insurance cover will start from the date that you are “actively at work”. This means that you must be at work and be able to perform your normal duties.

Therefore, if you are not “actively at work” on your entry date then you must send the insurer of the risk benefit insurance cover satisfactory proof of good health or complete 2 months of consecutive service with your employer without absence to ensure full cover for death and disability benefits.

The provisions of this clause are not applicable

  • if your risk benefit insurance cover was in place with another insurer, or
  • if you were on normal leave with the employer’s approval; or
  • if the insurer, notwithstanding your absence has nonetheless agreed to provide risk benefit insurance cover in writing.

Do I receive a fund benefit statement?

A member benefit statement is issued to you once a year, following the fund’s financial year-end, that being 31 January. Your benefit statement will usually reach you in August / September of each year. The fund benefit statement sets out your personal information that the fund has on record. It is important that you check the fund benefit statement carefully to ensure that your fund information is correct.

Will my risk benefit cover remain in place if I retire late?

Should you be permitted to continue working after your normal retirement age, you may no longer be covered for the death, disability and funeral benefits from age 60 / 65.

The premiums previously paid towards these insured benefits will then be added to your retirement savings to increase your “fund credit”.

Are there any other charges or fees that I need to pay?

Over and above the administration fees, consulting fees and insurance premiums, the fund incurs expenses in its operational activities. They include: audit fees, actuarial fees, bank charges, Financial Service Board’s levies, Fidelity and professional indemnity cover for the trustees, Reserve Bank reports, trustee expenses etc. These fees are paid by the fund each year when they are due.

Will the insurer ever require medical evidence of health?

The insurer of the risk benefit insurance will automatically cover you for your death and disability benefits up to the medical free cover limit that they set for the scheme.

If your risk benefit insurance cover is more than the insurer’s medical insurance acceptance limits, you may be asked to provide medical evidence of good your health and insurability in order to enjoy the full death and disability benefits provided under the fund. Such medical evidence must be provided within 120 days after you have become aware that your risk benefit insurance cover exceeds the insurer’s medical insurance acceptance limits. The insurer will assess your risk benefit insurance cover and will advise the outcome after a 30-day period.

The insurer will pay for any medical expenses incurred in getting the medical evidence of your good health.

It is important to note however that the insurer who insures your death and disability benefits may still restrict these benefits in some manner to certain levels even though you have submitted medical evidence. If this happen the insurer will advise you in writing of any limitations or restrictions or conditions that it may impose on your risk benefit insurance cover.

What happens to my cover if I leave the SADC region?

If you are working or on holiday outside of the SADC regions for longer than 3 months (or an extended period as agreed with the insurer), you will remain covered if:

  • The absence is temporary; and
  • Written approval is given by your employer; and
  • The insurer is notified; and
  • Your employer continues to pay the risk benefit insurance premiums for the same amount as the day before your absence started.

SADC (Southern African Development Community) regions include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Benefit Transfers

Transfers into the fund

In terms of the general rules you may transfer your “fund credit” from a previous fund (pension or provident fund) into this fund. Such a transfer into the fund will form part of your fund credit.

Transfers out of the fund

In terms of the general rules you may transfer your “fund credit” out of the fund to another approved pension or provident fund when you leave the fund.

Transfers to another participating employer

If you leave your employer and join another employer who is already participating in the fund, your fund credit will be transferred to the new participating employer.

Termination of the fund

The trustees may cease the operations of the fund by order of court or if all the participating employers decide unanimously to do so subject to giving the trustees three (3) months’ notice.

If the fund ceases its operations, all monies available in the fund after payment of all expenses will be distributed to members on an equitable basis recommended by the Valuator and approved by the liquidator appointed by the trustees.

The liquidator can either transfer the members’ fund credit to another tax-approved retirement fund or pay out the members’ fund credit in cash subject to the approval of the Financial Services Board.

Does the fund appoint any sub-committees?

Trustees have appointed the following sub committees to attend to various duties of the board:

  • An Investment Committee,
  • Administration Committee; and
  • Death Distribution Committee.

The trustees will provide each of the sub committees with a task list and these committees will have no decision-making authority and will refer all matters for consideration and approval to the full board of trustees. In summary, the roles of the sub committees are to lighten the work load for the full board by seeing to items on their task lists before each board meeting.