If my daughter's father dies, will she still receive benefits from his estate?

Concerned with the future
Concerned with the future

The following question is part of Groundup's Answers to your questions series and comes from a reader wanting to know about inheritance. 

The short answer

In our view yes, but it is best to meet with the Government Employees Pension Fund to confirm what must be done.

The whole question

My daughter's father supports my child through a garnishee order from his salary. He is a police office and has not nominated his child from his money as a beneficiary, My daughter’s name is displayed on his monthly salary advice. If he dies will a portion of his death benefit be paid to my daughter?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking whether the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) will pay benefits to your daughter if her police officer father dies, given that he supports her via a garnishee order on his salary - even though he has not nominated her as a beneficiary.

We think the fact that your daughter’s name appears on her father’s payslip each month must be taken into account by the GEPF when deciding who will be a beneficiary when he dies. The GEPF newsletter says that if no valid beneficiary nomination form exists, the fund “may divide and award the gratuity among the beneficiaries according to the rules of the Fund”.

They say that beneficiaries can either be the member’s dependants and/or nominees. A child who is eligible for benefits, they say, is the natural or legally adopted child of a member.

“When a GEPF member dies, the GEPF pays a monthly pension to his/her young children – this is called child pension. We pay child pension to the children of our deceased members – from birth to 22 years old.”

The benefit is paid into the guardian’s account if the child is under 18, and after 18 years it must be paid into the child’s own account.

If the beneficiaries are 18 years or older, they need to submit:

• A correctly completed Banking Details form (Z894)

• Certified copies of their ID documents (certification not older than six months)

If the beneficiaries are younger than 18, their guardian must provide GEPF with:

• A guardian letter stating that the children are minors in the guardian’s care

• A certified copy of the guardian’s ID (certification not older than six months)

• Certified copies of the children’s birth certificates

So it seems that your daughter must receive benefits from the GEPF (along with any other beneficiaries her father may have nominated), but because her father has not nominated her as a beneficiary, you will have to make sure that she does receive benefits.

You could contact the GEPF and ask for a meeting where you can put your questions to them, and find out what you need to do in the event of his death.

Here is the GEPF toll-free contact number: 0800 117 669

E-mail: enquiries@gepf.co.za

Tel: (012) 326 2507

Answered on June 6, 2019, 3:51 p.m.

Published originally on GroundUp

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