Retirement Fund News
Completion Of Beneficiary Nomination Forms
As a member of the Motor Industry Retirement Funds, being the Auto Workers’ Provident Fund, Motor Industry Provident Fund, Motor Industry Pension Fund (2005) and Copartes Pension Fund (‘the MIRF’) you are entitled to a range of benefits in our funds. One of these benefits, which is paid to the surviving dependants or nominees of a member who passes away, is a death benefit.
Retirement funds must operate in terms of law, which in respect of death benefits payable by the MIRF funds is section 37C of the Pension Funds Act, 1956 (‘PFA’). Now in terms of the PFA, a distinction is made between a deceased’s dependants and nominees. A dependant of the deceased member includes someone who –
- was the spouse of the deceased when he or she passed away;
- a person who was the child of the deceased when he or she passed away;
- a person for whom the deceased was legally liable for maintenance when he or she passed away;
- a person who was factually dependent on the member; or
- a person in respect of whom the member would have become legally liable for maintenance had the member not died.
A nominee is someone who is not a dependant of the deceased and a person cannot be a dependant and nominee of the deceased at the same time. Section 37C of the PFA prioritises dependency in order to prevent anyone who was dependent on the deceased from becoming destitute, so the deceased’s dependants will take precedence over any nominated beneficiaries.
It is the Fund’s trustees who must decide how to equitably distribute a death benefit to the deceased member’s dependants and nominees. This is why it is critical for every member of our Funds to complete and submit his or her Beneficiary Nomination Form, which assists the Funds in establishing who your dependants and nominees are. If your circumstances change in respect of your dependants and nominees, it is important that you update your beneficiary nominations as well.
Beneficiary Nomination Forms can be obtained from the Funds’ administrators, being MIFA and MIBCO. Their contact details appear below. Please ensure that completed forms are submitted to MIFA as it maintains member records and it can then update your member record.
You must also note that the Funds are not allowed in terms of the law to provide advances on death benefits in respect of funeral expenses, so it is important that alternative arrangements are made.
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