How do I Check if I have Unclaimed Provident Fund

Provident funds and pensions are retirement savings plans designed to provide individuals with a comfortable and secure retirement. These funds are created by employers to provide their employees with financial benefits upon retirement, such as pensions and provident funds. Additionally, these funds may provide disability and death benefits.

Upon retirement, members can collect up to one-third of their fund’s value as cash and the remaining two-thirds as a monthly pension. A lump sum, pension benefit, or interest owed to a retirement fund member (or their beneficiary) that goes unclaimed for a certain period of time becomes an unclaimed benefit. Unclaimed funds are deemed unclaimed if they remain unpaid for two years after a member leaves.

What do Unclaimed Benefits or Funds Refer to?

The term unclaimed benefits refer to funds that have not been paid out to a fund member despite their departure from the fund being known and their final day of employment being identified. The fund’s regulations dictate that members must receive their benefits within 24 months of their last day of service.

Who is Eligible to Claim Unclaimed Benefits?

The following individuals are eligible to claim benefits from Unclaimed Provident Funds:

  • A retired or non-functioning member of the GEPF
  • GEPF beneficiaries who are no longer in service or have passed away
  • A guardian of a GEPF member’s beneficiary.

What are the Reasons for Unclaimed Funds?

Funds that go unclaimed are a common occurrence, and the reasons for this can vary. The following are some of the most common causes of unclaimed Provident Fund benefits:

Inaccurate or missing exit paperwork

A member must submit Z102 forms when leaving a fund, but if these forms are not submitted or if there are errors, the benefits may not be claimed.

Insufficient beneficiary information

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) may not have enough information about a deceased member’s spouse or beneficiaries, making it difficult for them to claim their retirement benefits.

Tax-related issues

SARS may not grant GEPF a tax directive if the GEPF’s members or beneficiaries fail to file tax returns or do not have appropriate tax accounts.

Banking errors

The GEPF may refund benefits due to inaccurate banking information, frozen accounts, or incorrect pay points.

Distribution of benefits

The distribution of pension and provident fund benefits to dependents is not governed by a member’s will. Benefits will be paid to the designated beneficiaries listed on the nomination form if the member has no dependents.

Sassa beneficiaries now have the option to check their status online to ensure they receive their benefits.

Discovering Unclaimed Pension Benefits

If you want to know if you have any Unclaimed Provident Funds pension benefits, there is a way to do so. The Financial Service Conduct Authority (FSCA) has created a database, which is maintained by the Registrar of Pension Funds. Through a search engine, the general public can find unclaimed benefits using this database.

The Unclaimed Provident Funds Benefits Search Engine requires some basic information, such as your name, surname, identification number, fund name, employer name, etc. A search engine will check for possible matches once this information has been entered. Upon finding a match, you will be provided with the fund’s and/or administrator’s contact information. You may be able to claim your benefits this way.

Unclaimed Provident Funds Retirement Savings in South Africa

There are a staggering number of South Africans who are unaware that they are owed money in the form of unclaimed Provident Funds retirement savings. These individuals contributed to retirement plans during their working years, enabling them to save for retirement.

Those who administer retirement plans are working tirelessly to locate these former participants or their beneficiaries and ensure they receive their rightful funds.

Over the past decade, FSCA and retirement fund managers have been working together to find a solution. Approximately 4.8 million South Africans are owed R42 billion in unclaimed provident funds, according to the retirement fund sector.

A fund manager, Liberty, oversees funds for over 200,000 former participants who have not claimed their shares yet. A task team of tracing agents has been formed by Liberty in order to locate these individuals to support payments.

A well-known provider of credit management services with a vast customer database, Transaction Capital Recoveries, is one of the newest members of the tracing task force. The Liberty Trust has successfully located and reimbursed members and beneficiaries with assets valued at approximately R380 million since 2018.

List of Funds in Guardian’s Fund as per Districts

Funds NameDistrict
GoN 2537 Pension Funds Act (24/1956)Unclaimed benefits from the Nzalo Umbrella Provident Fund
GoN 2538 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)Guardian’s Fund: Master of the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria & Mmabatho)
GoN 2539 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)as amended: Master of the Northern Cape High Court – Kimberley
GoN 2540 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)Guardian’s Fund: Master of the Eastern Cape High Court – Grahamstown 46982 315
GoN 2542 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)Guardian’s Fund: Bloemfontein
GoN 2543 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)Guardian’s Fund: Master of the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria & Mmabatho)
GoN 2541 Administration of Estates Act (66/1965)Guardian’s Fund: Cape Town Master’s Office


Those who were members of a retirement fund in South Africa as early as 1981 may qualify for Unclaimed Provident Funds benefits that have not been paid out due to their previous fund’s inability to contact them.

Unclaimed Provident Funds benefits may be transferred to a pension or provident fund where the member or beneficiary can make a claim if the fund’s regulations allow it. A retirement fund benefit cannot be lost and is called an “unclaimed benefit” until it is claimed by the rightful owner or their beneficiaries.

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