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R47.3 Billion in Unclaimed Retirement Funds, Scammers Make People Wary of Claiming Their Funds

  • There is an astounding R47.3 billion rand that still needs to be claimed from South African pension funds
  • Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) released a study that shows most of the unclaimed funds belong to low-income miners
  • Experts are encouraging people to claim their retirement benefits but warn them to be cautious of scammers

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CAPE TOWN – Pension funds are looking to pay out the R47.3 billion of unclaimed retirement funds in South Africa but warn people of scammers who might use the billions to prey on South Africans.

Pension funds are trying to return R47.3 billion in unclaimed retirement benefits to their rightful owners, but scammers make it challenging to do so. Image: Muhammadsainudin Sa-i &Rapideye
Source: Getty Images

The Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) warned that people might use the fact that there are unclaimed pension funds to run scams and rob South Africans of their savings.

Business Insider reported that returning payments to policyholders or their beneficiaries is difficult because they must provide verification information to the tracing agents employed by pension funds.

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Actuarial consultant and ASSA member Jeanine Astrup says that people may be sceptical of someone calling them and offering them money, primarily if they must first provide personal information such as ID and bank account information to permit the payment of benefits.

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Astrup claims that rejecting valid requests from tracing agencies makes it extremely difficult for retirement funds to connect people with their payouts but acknowledges that the fear of being scammed is valid.

According to News24, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is responsible for reuniting unclaimed retirement funds with their owners.

FSCA published a study earlier this year that showed almost 80% of unclaimed cash originates from trade union members, and the bulk of unpaid members are low-wage miners.

South Africans React to the R47.3 billion in unclaimed pension funds

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South Africans took to social media to weigh in on the unclaimed pension funds.

Here are some comments:

@MarumoMashigo said:

Mzansi the corruption mafia state, families are suffering while there is money left behind for them by their parents.

@desabahh commented:

“Yap. Scams are important in this case”

@VOIDBOURGEOISIE asked:

“Doesn’t this mean there’s something wrong with the system, not those who haven’t claimed…”

@Spade37295887 suggested:

“It should be used to build factories that will make money while they are still waiting for beneficiaries.”

Brian Molefe, former Eskom CEO, still owes pension and provident fund R10 million

Briefly News previously reported that Former Transnet and Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has not paid back the money he owes to the State-owned power utilities pension fund.

In 2016, R30 million was unlawfully put into Molefe’s pension and provident fund. Molefe resigned from the utility later that year and retired early.

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EWN reported that the Democratic Alliance and the trade union solidarity opened a case in court. In 2018, the North Gauteng High Court ordered Molefe to repay the funds spent on his pension.

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Source: Briefly News