GIPF is a defined benefits pension fund that provides the following guaranteed pension benefits to its members.
GIPF members normally retire upon reaching the age of 60 years. At retirement a member becomes entitled to receive one-third of his or her pension as a tax-free lump sum. In addition, he or she will receive a taxable monthly income.
GIPF members may choose to retire before 60 years of age and receive their retirement benefits. However, a member must be at least 55 years to qualify for early retirement.
GIPF members may also retire due to:
- Dismissal as a result of his or her employer’s re-organisation;
- Being discharged from service in terms of the Public Services Act, No. 13 of 1995;
- If found to be unsuitable for duty or unable to carry out duties efficiently (if he or she was a member of GIPF for an uninterrupted period of ten years); or
- His or her dismissal for reasons other than unsuitability or inability to promote the efficiency or economy of the employer (this kind of retirement requires the approval of the trustees of the GIPF).
The GIPF Rules provides benefits upon:
- The dismissal of a member from service for reasons other than retirement. This includes when a member resigns. In such an instance, a member may choose to preserve his or benefit within the GIPF if he or she has been a member of GIPF for an uninterrupted minimum period of 10 years.
- The member thus becomes a deferred pensioner and the following will become applicable:
- No further contributions will be payable by or on behalf of the deferred pensioner.
- A pension will be payable upon attainment of normal retirement age.
- The pension shall be based on the member’s accrued actuarial reserve.
- The deferred pensioner may choose to go on early retirement upon reaching the age of 55 years.
- The deferred pensioner may also retire due to Ill-health
- Deferred pensioners are eligible for death benefits based on the cash value of the member’s deferred pension as at the date of his/her death together with increases if any. These benefits shall be payable in accordance with section 37C of the Pension Fund Act 24 of 1956.
Alternatively, a member may elect to transfer his or her preserved benefit to an approved pension or retirement annuity fund of his or her choice.
If a member is retrenched by his or her employer, the member will be entitled to either a resignation or a retirement benefit depending on the profile of the member at the time of retrenchment. When deciding on which type of benefit to be allocated, trustees will consider all relevant factors that are submitted to the fund by the employer.
Employees who suffer from diseases such as cancer, stroke, total blindness and heart problems qualify for a disability benefit. Although their services are terminated, they remain full members of the fund; they contribute to the fund and qualify for death and funeral benefits like any civil service employee. The benefit they receive is a disability income that is equal to 75% of the latest salary of the employee.
GIPF members may also retire before the age of 60 years due to ill-health and receive their retirement benefits.
Should a member die before retirement, the GIPF will pay out a tax-free lump sum equal to 2 times the final annual salary of the deceased employee.
- The qualifying spouse would, in addition to the lumpsum, receive a monthly pension equal to 40% of the member’s annual salary for life.
- Qualifying children will receive a monthly income of up to a maximum of 30% of the member’s annual salary for a maximum of 3 children.
- If the member was single but had children, they will receive up to a maximum of 60% of the member’s annual salary.
- The GIPF rules recognize certain relationships as marital unions. These includes unions according to customary law, unions recognized as marriages under any religion, cohabitation as well as dependence by virtue of finance or other maintenance.
- Customary unions require a certificate or an affidavit issued by a recognized traditional authority.
- Qualifying children include biological as well as legally adopted children.
- Should the pensioner die within the first 5 years after retirement (also referred to as the guarantee period), the remaining pension will be distributed to the member’s dependents according to section 37C of the Pension Funds Act, No. 24 of 1956.
In addition, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension amount (monthly annuity) that the pensioner was receiving prior to the date of death.
GIPF provides a funeral benefit as a lump sum to assist members with family funeral costs. This benefit is provided to members at no additional cost. The amount paid ranges from N$1000 for children under one year to N$8000 on the death of the member or spouse.
Active and Retired Member N$ 8000
Disabled Member N$ 8000
Qualifying child (1 – 18 years) N$ 3000
Qualifying child (<1) N$ 1000