What is my contribution rate and that of my employer?
Members of the GIPF contribute 7% of their monthly pensionable emoluments (basic salary) and the employer contributes 16%.
The monthly contribution (7%) of the member is deducted directly from your salary and appears on your pay slip. Please ensure that such contribution (7%) is correctly calculated.
In the event I am no longer alive, how are my benefits distributed and how can I be sure that all my beneficiaries get their rightful share?
By virtue of YOU being a member of GIPF, we wish to advise that your spouse (where applicable) and ALL your beneficiaries (if any) will be considered for your pension benefits. If your parents are alive, they too will be considered for a portion of the benefits.
If you are single, have no children and no nominees, your benefits will be paid to your estate at the Master of the High Court.
These benefits will be paid out upon completion of a benefit claim form that must be submitted to the Fund with all the supporting documents attached. The claim forms are available at the Human Resources (HR) Office of your employer.
How can I find out how much I have contributed to the Fund and why don't we get annual statements showing how much we have contributed to the Fund?
GIPF is a defined benefit fund. No benefit payable from the Fund is based on the amount of money that you have contributed to the Fund. Benefits are instead based on your final average salary and your years of pensionable service. However, the distribution of benefit statements, showing each individual's benefit entitlements can be obtained from any GIPF Office. Members are encouraged to provide their Identification card and latest payslip for the statement to be printed.
Can I borrow money or withdraw funds from the contributions I have made to the Fund to build a house or settle debts?
GIPF does not provide loans to members under any circumstances. You also cannot withdraw money from the Fund while in the service of Government.
When can I retire?
This depends on your conditions of service with your employer. Generally, conditions of service state that you may retire without any reduction of benefits at age 60. This is known as the Normal Retirement Age.
Members of the Fund can opt to go on early retirement (between 55- 60 years). It is advised that members obtain an early retirement quotation through their HR Office which will assist them in making decisions should they wish to opt for early retirement.
What forms do I need to complete if I want to withdraw from the Fund?
You should approach your Human Resources Office (HR) at your employer and complete a Benefit Claim Form. The HR will advise you on the supporting documents required. It is advisable to transfer your pension benefits to a Preservation / Retirement Annuity Fund of your choice.
I previously left the service of the government and have now returned; can I buy back pensionable service?
Yes. If it is less than 36 months since you left GIPF, you can repay the benefit that was paid to you with interest.
Can I add more money to the pension fund?
Not at this stage. You may however make other arrangements such as purchasing a retirement annuity. A financial advisor can advise you on the available options.
What is the difference between a pension fund and provident fund?
A maximum of one third of the final benefit may be taken as a once-off lump-sum/ cash payment, tax free. The two thirds of the final benefit will be paid as a pension, for as long as the pensioner is alive.
The full amount of the benefit available at retirement may be taken as a lump-sum cash payment, irrespective of whether this benefit is calculated on a defined benefit or a defined contribution basis. GIPF is a Defined Benefit Fund.
Please explain the difference between a defined benefit and defined contribution fund.
Defined Benefit Fund
The GIPF is a defined benefit fund Benefits are defined in terms of the Rules of the Fund. Benefits are generally guaranteed and are not dependent on the investment returns of the fund or on the level of employer contributions.
Defined Contribution Fund
Benefits are mainly based on the accumulation of contributions plus investment returns. Benefits are dependent on the level of returns, therefore the member bears the risk of poor investment returns in such funds.
What happens if a member passes on before retirement?
GIPF will pay out death benefits to all qualifying dependents and beneficiaries. We urge the claimant to visit the former HR office of the deceased member as soon as possible and provide the necessary documents required to avoid delay in finalizing the claim.
Please take note of the following new requirements: Benefits with regard to minor beneficiaries will only be paid to legal guardians who are in possession of - a Guardianship Letter/Certificate. Full Birth Certificates are required for qualifying children of the deceased member.
Who qualify to be dependants?
The law recognizes, among others, the following persons as legal dependants: minor children; adult children who are engaged in education; biological parents and other factual dependents who were as a matter of fact, financially dependent on the deceased;
What is a beneficiary nomination form?
A beneficiary nomination form is used to guide Trustees to distribute death benefits in terms of Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act, No. 24 of 1956 to beneficiaries and dependants should a member pass away, whilst in service.
Whose responsibility is it to ensure that a member is registered with the Fund?
Members of the Fund should ensure to submit certified copies of his/her national documents to his/her Human Resources Office (HR).
The admission documents with the relevant supporting documents must reach the Fund with in the first three months of appointment. Upon receipt of the admission documents, the Fund registers you as member of the Fund and issue you with a membership certificate/proof of admission. The member should ensure that his/her personal details with the Fund is correct as well as the amount deducted towards pension.
What would happen if a member is not registered with the Fund?
The member will not receive a Membership Certificate confirming his/her membership to the Fund, neither will he/she receive a Benefit Statement that indicates how much he/she has saved towards pension. Information can get distorted as time goes by if the member is not registered on time.
What is a Benefit statement form?
A benefit statement is a document that contains your personal details as held by the Fund. It is also a statement that provides you with an outline / break down of your benefits. Please note that the amounts stated on a benefit statements are estimates only and might change at the actual time of a claim. When a claim is submitted, be it a resignation or retirement claim, your personal details will be verified to ensure that the correct benefits are paid to you. It is therefore critical for members to continuously verify the correctness of their personal details on the Benefit Statement.. This involves names, date of birth, gender, admission date to the Fund, starting and current salaries. Communicate all inaccurate information to your HR Office for correction.
If I want to resign, what is expected from me as an employee/ member of the Fund?
Please ensure that your information held by the Fund is accurate, as this might delay the claiming process.
A member is responsible for the following: Verifying the information on the benefit claim form and also signing it to confirm that all information is correct; Submitting all relevant supporting documents to the HR Office; Keeping the bank account active while awaiting retirement / resignation benefits to be finalized. Please also note that if a member has been dismissed from service, he/she also has a right to claim resignation benefits. If any of your personal details have changed, ensure that such changes have been communicated to the Fund on time.
When a member is about to retire, what can he/she do to ensure that retirement benefit are paid on time?
Members of the Fund are advised to visit the respective Human Resources Offices (HR) three months before retirement to confirm that all personal details are on file and accurate. If you have changed your names, date of birth or ID, please obtain a letter of confirmation from the Ministry of Home Affairs that your personal details were amended lawfully. This is important as your benefits will not be paid if your details differ from what you have submitted to Fund initially.
What is the difference between a disability and ill health benefits?
Early Ill-Health Retirement
If a member has been medically boarded on disability, such a member will continue to receive 75% of his/her pensionable emoluments /remuneration on a monthly basis. The member will be regarded as an active member of the Fund and will continue to contribute to the Fund; qualifies for all benefits as in the case of active members.
Early Ill-Health Retirement
Members who retire on ill- health retirement benefits, will become pensioners of the Fund. They will receive a lump sum and monthly pension and will not be legible to become active members again.
What are the implications of being retrenched from an employer that is a member of GIPF?
If you have been retrenched by one of the participating institutions that is a member of GIPF, you become a GIPF pensioner and for that reason you may not become an active member again. You cannot be an active member and a pensioner at the same time.