ASSOCIATED BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS

This section deals with some additional benefits currently provided outside the Fund for Fund members.

The benefits covered in this section are:

FAMILY FUNERAL BENEFITS

The Pension Funds Act prevents the Fund from providing funeral insurance benefits for the families of Fund members, because a retirement fund is not allowed to pay a benefit in respect of someone (a family member) who is not actually a member of the fund – you are a Fund member, but your spouse(s) and children are not.

These family funeral benefits are therefore provided for by a separate insurance policy, outside the Fund. The costs of this insurance however forms part of the 4.8% of pensionable salaries that the State provides for insured benefits for political office-bearers.

The material on the web-site represents only a summary of the main terms of the insurance policy, which are very complex and may change from time to time. In the event of a dispute arising, reference will have to be made to the policy contract, which will take precedence.

In this section, you can find out more about:

Who is eligible for this cover?

All current contributory members of the Political Office- Bearers Pension Fund who are in full-time service. This means specifically that existing members above age 75 at the commencement of the policy on 1 October 2010 are also eligible. Members who joined the Fund on or after 1 October 2010 and were over 75 at entry will not be eligible for this benefit, unfortunately. However, we do not expect there will be many such members. Members cease to be eligible once they reach the age of 89 (or 75, for members who joined the Fund on or after 1 October 2010).

As an eligible member you must be capable of attending to all the normal duties of your office on the first working day on which the funeral cover is due to commence. If you are not capable, the commencement of your cover will be delayed until you are capable of attending to all your normal duties.

In the event that you are absent from duty for any reason, your cover will continue for a period of twelve months at the level at which you were covered immediately before your absence, as long as premiums continue to be paid on your behalf and you have not yet reached the “termination date”, which is the last day of the month in which you turn 89 (or 75, in the case of members who joined the Fund on or after 1 October 2010).

If you are receiving a disability income benefit (as described earlier in this section), you will still qualify for this funeral insurance cover, up to the earliest of the “termination date”, your sixty-fifth birthday or your early retirement (whichever is sooner).

Please note that, if you meet the eligibility requirements yourself, your children and spouse(s) also qualify for this funeral cover – it is “family cover”. The qualification rules for children and spouse(s) are discussed below.

What is the definition of child / children?

A child means your natural child or your legally adopted child; provided the child is under the age of twenty-one years and unmarried, and was born before the earlier of:

  • Your “termination date”, which is the last day of the month in which you turn 89;
  • Your date of actual retirement.

A married child or a child who has attained the age of twenty-one years may continue to qualify for the funeral insurance if he or she suffers from a mental or physical problem that makes him or her financially dependent on you. In addition, a married child or a child who has attained the age of twenty-one years may continue to qualify for the funeral insurance up to the age of twenty-six years if he/she is a full time student.

What is the definition of spouse?

A spouse means a person with whom you are joined in marriage. You are permitted to claim funeral benefits on the death of up to a maximum of four spouses.

Marriage means a union that is recognised as a marriage in accordance with any law or custom, including:

  • a civil partnership;
  • a customary marriage concluded in accordance with customary law;
  • a union “recognised as a marriage under the tenets of any Asiatic religion”; or
  • A permanent life partnership, provided that the insurer receives satisfactory proof that the partners to such a relationship had been living together for at least the last six months before the claim arose.

What benefit is payable on the death of a Fund member, spouse or child?

The following benefits are payable:

Fund Member: R36 000

Spouse: R36 000

Children aged 14 years and over: R36 000

Children aged 6 years and over but under 14: R18 000

Children aged 1 year and over but under the age 6: R9 000

Children under age of 1 year OR Stillborn Children: R4 500

What happens in the event of a death?

Formal written notification must be given to the insurer, with the necessary documentation, within six months of the date of death. If this is not done, the claim will not be payable.

If you have a death in your family that you think would qualify for the funeral insurance cover, you should contact the Fund’s administrator, who will help you to submit the claim to the insurance company.Similarly, if you yourself should die, your family (or your Legislature) should contact the administrator.

When does the cover cease?

You and your family will cease to be eligible for cover on the earliest of the following:

  • The “termination date” (the last day of the month in which you turn 89);
  • When you leave office (but cover will continue while you are in receipt of the disability income benefit);
  • If you are absent from Southern Africa for a period of twelve consecutive months (unless the insurer agrees to extend this period).

Are there any other exclusions?

No benefit will be payable under this policy if the claim occurs as a direct or indirect consequence of:

  • Deaths as a result of nuclear, chemical and biological terrorism, and active participation in war or warlike activities, will not be covered. The insurer may also reject claims where death has arisen because of a terrorist attack.

These are standard conditions that all the insurers will seek to apply. We are not able to negotiate more generous conditions from the insurers.

For legal and tax reasons, the benefits that are described in this section cannot be provided directly by the Political Office-Bearers Pension Fund and are therefore not dealt with in the Fund Rules. Instead, these benefits are mainly provided by means of insurance policies that National Treasury arranges with various insurance companies for the benefit of political office-bearers (members of the Fund).

Parliament and some of the Provincial Legislatures have arranged accident cover for members. We do not have details of these arrangements and so they are not dealt with in this member guide. Similarly, we do not deal with Medical Aid benefits (Parmed) here.

Disclaimer

  • The information in this guide does not constitute advice by either the Board of Trustees or its professional advisors. Members are encouraged to seek expert advice from a personal financial advisor before taking decisions regarding their benefits.
  • The Fund will try to ensure that the material in this guide is up to date and accurate, but this cannot be guaranteed at all times
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