Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za

‘Let’s each do our bit in tracing beneficiaries’

Olefile MoeaOlefile Moea, Consultant, Fairheads Benefit Services, says the beneficiary fund administrator was shocked by the Financial Services Board (FSB)’s announcement that the pool of unclaimed benefits from retirement funds sits at around R20 billion.

The reasons for unclaimed benefits are many. They include poor member communication by some funds, as well as poor administration coupled with a failure by the boards of retirement funds to monitor compliance by administrators. They also include the failure by many fund members to inform their dependents that, if they die in service, there may be benefits payable to those dependent.

“Whatever the reasons, at Fairheads we welcome the FSB’s intention to implement measures obliging funds to increase their efforts in tracing beneficiaries,” Moea says.

Tackling the problem bit by bit

For its part, Fairheads has done its level best over the years to proactively trace beneficiaries.

“We list these initiatives in the hope that they will inspire others to do the same.”

Fairheads was the first beneficiary fund and umbrella trust administrator to:

  • create its own in-house tracing team in 2010. The team has been hugely successful, without any cost to the membership
  • introduce guardian roadshows around the country in 2010. This grassroots communication exercise has revolutionised understanding of processes, helped to keep member contact details up to date and spread the word about possible unclaimed benefits
  • implement a novel field agents initiative in the past few months. “We have two field agents on the road, in a Fairheads-branded vehicle which doubles up as a mobile office. Within 6 months the team has driven over 10 000 kilometres, and processed 1 500 outstanding documents.”

Getting on the road to trace beneficiaries

Fairheads’ unique field agents project allows it to bring face-to-face service directly into people’s homes or at a place close to them, such as the car park of the local police station. Out come the table and chairs, the laptop and Themba Manzana and Lerato Mokgobu are ready to help!

Since May, the pair have already made day trips to Tembisa, been to Lesotho, Westonaria, Rustenburg, Soshanguve, Vosloorus, Soweto, Welkom, Marikana and  Katlehong. In August they did a field trip to KwaZulu Natal and Polokwane is next on the list. Themba and Lerato share the driving and both attended a 4×4 training course before tackling some of the country’s rougher roads.

The field agents project forms part of Fairheads’ strategic aim of improving accessibility to clients in light of the challenges presented by the poor postal system and the high cost of airtime.

“Our sophisticated IT systems and databases show which geographic areas contain ‘non-compliant’ members who have not updated their contact details and who are therefore at risk of having monthly payments stopped.”

Moea says the field agents will spend longer periods in these targeted areas in order to provide clients with enough time to complete and return documents.

“In effect, Fairheads is now doing proactive tracing of those members who are not compliant and visiting them in their own homes to explain what needs to be done to resume/effect payments.”

If there are a large number of non-compliant members in a certain town or region, then a central venue is selected which could be a community, church or school hall, the police station or a TEBA Limited branch.

 



Latest


04 Aug 2020
Advice for insurance entrepreneurs

“Being battle hardened is what makes you hungry for success. Growing up in a house where your parents can’t cover…

Advice for insurance entrepreneurs

“Being battle hardened is what makes you hungry for success. Growing up in a house where your parents can’t cover the school fees and the family car has broken down for the umpteenth time, makes you focus on what you really want to change in your life.” says Alex Simeonides,…

01 Aug 2020
Achieving balance is not as easy as 60/40

By: Tumi Loate: Investment Team Member, 36ONE Asset Management A simple and traditional balanced portfolio, which allocates 60% to equities…

Achieving balance is not as easy as 60/40

By: Tumi Loate: Investment Team Member, 36ONE Asset Management A simple and traditional balanced portfolio, which allocates 60% to equities and 40% to bonds (a 60/40 allocation) irrespective of the cycle, has produced more than satisfactory returns for global investors over the last two decades. Importantly, however, these returns have…

01 Aug 2020
2020 – a rollercoaster ride

By: James Klempster, CFA, Director of Investment Management, Momentum Investments How to sum up 2020 so far?  A rollercoaster is…

2020 – a rollercoaster ride

By: James Klempster, CFA, Director of Investment Management, Momentum Investments How to sum up 2020 so far?  A rollercoaster is probably the best way to describe it; both from an emotional perspective but also in terms of what the markets have been up to. Over the first quarter, market participants went…

30 Jul 2020
Income protection could be the best investment you ever make

According to the recent Stanlib Savings Report 2020, Covid-19 has highlighted how unprepared South Africans are for unforeseen financial shocks…

Income protection could be the best investment you ever make

According to the recent Stanlib Savings Report 2020, Covid-19 has highlighted how unprepared South Africans are for unforeseen financial shocks – and left without a steady income flow, many have had to dip into long-term savings to fund day-to-day expenses. Part of the reason is that South Africans tend to…


Top stories


10 Apr 2020
When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved…

When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved to be most enterprising in acclimatising to challenges as they arise.

13 Apr 2020
Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19…

Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19 environment and what form a global market recovery will take.

13 Apr 2020
SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The…

SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The draft Bill, together with its explanatory memorandum, provides clarity with regards the tax relief measures President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 23 March.

11 Apr 2020
Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the…

Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the global economy is facing an unprecedented situation of balancing health against financial livelihoods.