SOUTH African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has warned state pensioners about insurance brokers claiming to be working in partnership with Sassa. The brokers sell insurance products, funeral plans and financial plans to pensioners saying they are in partnership with Sassa, and that it’s mandatory they join them. Sassa national spokesperson Kgomoco Diseko has refuted a partnership with any funeral insurance company.“Sassa has no relationship with any funeral insurance company and does not endorse funeral schemes,” he said. Pensioners should ask whoever claims to have an agreement with Sassa to show them a copy of the agreement. “We never contract with funeral insurance providers,” he said. In a local recent case children of a pensioner complained that a few months before their mother died they saw a deduction on her pension allegedly for a funeral plan she had joined.When their mother died they followed up on the code the deduction was going off under and found that the mother had a policy with an insurance company and someone had already claimed the money.Fever then investigated and phoned the company to ask if they were underwritten or authorised by Sassa to make the deductions. In a telephone conversation a sales manager from the company said they are working in partnership with Sassa, however, she couldn’t say whether the pensioner had give them permission to deduct money. Diseko also said that social grant beneficiaries should not be forced to sign funeral scheme contracts,“If there is an incident whereby a broker or sales agent forces the beneficiary to sign an agreement for a policy, they should report such incidents to Sassa or the police.” He said beneficiaries shouldn’t believe anyone who visit their home claiming to be from Sassa because Sassa officials won’t visit them without their request.“They should never disclose their ID number or PIN number to strangers,” he said.