Pre-Retirement Death Benefit
A member of the Fund who dies while still being a member shall be entitled to a death benefit equal to two years’ salary based upon that member’s pay scale as at the day of the member’s death, and such benefit shall be paid to the member’s estate. Prior to the enactment of the Retirement Funds Act of 2005, a deceased member’s benefit was transmitted to the office of the Master of the High Court in terms of the Pensions Order 1993 for distribution and therefore formed part of the assets of the estate.
The Retirement Funds Act (2005) specifically excludes the benefit from forming part of the assets of the estate, which in essence means that the distribution of the gratuity is now placed solely in the hands of the Fund and is payable to the deceased’s dependants.
Requirements for benefits
A member who is entitled to, or receiving, a pension from the Fund shall be covered for one or more of the following benefits in the event of their death:
(a) a death benefit,
(b) a surviving spouse’s pension,
(c) children’ Pensions, and
(d) a residual settlement.
Surviving spouse pension
If the member dies before his separation from the Fund and was married at the time of his death, his surviving spouse shall be entitled to a pension equal to one-half the pension referred to in regulation 8(4).If the member dies after his separation from the Fund and while he is entitled to, or in receipt of, a pension from the Fund, his surviving spouse, if any, shall be entitled to a pension equal to one-half the ,amount of pension which the member was receiving, or was entitled to receive. The surviving spouse’s pension shall be. Payable until the spouse’s death or remarriage, whichever comes first.
In the event that the deceased member leaves more than one surviving spouse, the surviving spouse’s pension shall be divided among them in such proportion as the Master of the High Court may determine.
If a member dies before separation from the Fund, a child shall receive ten percent (10%) of the pension referred to in regulation 8(4). If the member dies after separation from the Fund and while he is entitled to or in receipt of a pension from the Fund, a child shall receive a pension equal to ten percent (10%) of the pension which the member was receiving, or is entitled to receive, at that time. If the member has more than five (5) children, the total amount of pension referred to in paragraph (1) and (2), shall be computed as if there were five (5) children, and such total shall be divided among all the member’s children. If there is no surviving spouse’s pension payable in terms of regulation 17, the child’s pension shall be twice the amount referred to in paragraph (1) and (2) as the case may be.
A public officer whose terms and conditions of service are governed by a contract between that officer and the government shall only be entitled to the gratuity stipulated in his contract and such gratuity all be payable from the Fund.