By Ryno Viljoen
Did you pay policy premiums prior to leaving South Africa? If so, you could be in for a surprise as there may well be money in South Africa that is rightfully owed to you!
The value in unclaimed South African policies amounts to more than R1 Billion! Fortunately legislation introduced in 2013 calls for insurance companies to track down beneficiaries of these policies for proceeds to be paid to the rightful owners.
According to Peter Dempsey, deputy CEO, ASISA (Association of Investment in South Africa) “Unclaimed policies are often the result of clients simply forgetting about their policies or beneficiaries who cannot be traced – family members sometimes lose touch and don’t inform beneficiaries that they are listed on their policies.”
The Old Mutual website elaborates on the rights of one-time members of retirement funds.
“Events, which may have resulted in members being entitled to more than what they received when they exited their fund:
- Big life assurance companies such as Sanlam and Old Mutual decided to become public listed companies, and in the process their policyholders received free shares. Pension and provident funds also invested with these companies in policies on behalf of the members of their funds, and when these shares were given to the retirement funds, the funds allocated the proceeds to members.
- The SA Government enacted legislation that compelled retirement funds to distribute surpluses held in retirement funds. As a result, some members who had already left – as far back as 1981 – became entitled to additional benefits.
- Some members did not receive the full returns earned by the fund. This happened because certain retirement fund service providers had negotiated better interest rates with banks but did not give the funds the full benefit of the higher returns.
There are many other reasons, however, why people do not claim benefits that they are entitled to from retirement funds.”
What should you do? AllSouth African expats are invited to establish whether they are part owners of these policy monies waiting to be paid out.
To find out if there is money due to you, register here for free reportSafe. Simple. Secure.