What is a funeral benefit?
The purpose of the funeral benefit is to help pay the funeral cost. The GEPF pays a cash lump sum funeral benefit on the death of a member or pensioner. They also pay out on the death of a member or pensioner’s spouse, life partner or eligible child.
Who qualifies for the funeral benefit?
A GEPF member or pensioner, whose pension either commenced on or after 1 December 2002 or prior to 1 December 2002 and is still alive as at 1 April 2012.
Who can claim the funeral benefit?
In the event where the member/pension passes away, a claim can be submitted by the deceased’s spouse, major child, parent or parent-in-law, brother/sister or brother-in-law/sister-in-law or the executor of the estate. No payment will be made to a funeral undertaker.
In the event where the member/pensioner’s spouse, life-partner of eligible child pass away, the member must submit the claim.
According to the Government Employees Pension Law, an eligible child is:
- a natural or adopted child under the age of 18 years; or
- a natural or adopted child between the ages of 18 and 22 years who is a full-time student at a recognised educational institution (proof from the relevant institution is required); or
- a natural or adopted child who is disabled and factually dependant on the member or pensioner as defined above (medical proof of disability and confirmation of factual dependency is required); or
- a still-born child – this is a child born after 26 weeks of pregnancy, who shows no signs of life and whose death cannot be classified as a self-inflicted termination as per the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 (written confirmation of the duration of pregnancy and the death certificate, as issued by the attending physician and hospital, is required.)
Important note: Step-children and children of other family members who are in the care of a member or pensioner as defined above, do not qualify for this benefit unless those children have been legally adopted.
How much will be paid for the Funeral benefit?
The benefit payable upon death of a member or pensioner and/ his or her spouse and/or eligible children and/or stillborn will be as follows:
- In a case of a member or pensioner funeral benefit payable is R15 000
- In a case of a spouse funeral benefit payable is R15 000
- In a case of eligible child funeral benefit payable is R6 000 per child
- While in a case of a stillborn funeral benefit payable is R6 000 per stillborn
Which documents must be submitted?
GEPF needs the following documents from claimants:
- A fully completed Z300 form
- An originally certified copy of the death certificate (issued by the Department of Home Affairs);
- In the case of a still-born child, written confirmation of the duration of pregnancy and death certification as issued by the attending physician and hospital;
- An originally certified copy of the deceased’s bar-coded ID or passport (or birth certificate in the case of a minor child);
- An originally certified copy of the bar-coded ID or passport of the person applying for the benefit;
- For payment into a bank account – the Z894 form (Banking Particulars Form);
- When the claim is submitted by fax, the Z894 must be accompanied by a certified bank statement showing the bank’s e-mail and landline contact details (these contact details will be used to confirm the bank account details provided);
- For payment via the Post Office – details of the online Post Office must be provided on the Z300 form. Applicants must confirm with the Post Office in question that it is an online Post Office. (Important note: the original application and attachments must be handed in at the Post Office when claiming the benefit – if the original documents are not handed to the Post Office, payment will not take place.)
Where applicable, the following additional documents must accompany the funeral benefits claim:
- If the spouse is the deceased or the applicant: an originally certified copy of the marriage certificate, proof of marriage according to religious tenet, certificate of customary marriage, lobola letter, or two affidavits from each family confirming the customary union. Lobola letters and affidavits confirming customary marriage must specify the place, date and parties to the customary union, and also the lobola paid.
- If an adopted child is the deceased or the applicant (major child): an originally certified copy of the adoption order stating the names of the adoptive parents.
- If the benefit is payable to the estate: an originally certified copy of the letter of executorship and the Z894 (Banking Particulars Form) reflecting the estate’s banking details. When submitted by fax, the banking details form must be accompanied by a certified bank statement showing the e-mail and landline contact particulars of the bank (these contact details will be used to confirm the account details provided). A certified copy of the ID of the executor of the estate is also required.
- If the deceased is a biological or legally adopted child, and the child was a full-time student over 18 years but under 22 years: the originally certified proof of full-time registration from a recognised educational institution.
- If the deceased is a biological or legally adopted child who was over the age of 18 and was disabled and factually dependant on the member or pensioner: the originally certified medical proof of disability, along with proof of factual dependency.
- If the surname of the applicant is different from that of the member or pensioner: an affidavit explaining the relationship, for example, that the applicant is the married daughter of a deceased member.
- Where the applicant or the deceased is a life partner: the life partnership must be approved by GEPF before the claim can be processed. If the life partnership had, at the time of death, not yet been approved, a completed Life Partner Application form to be attached to the funeral benefit claim, along with all the prescribed attachments for both documents.
Wherever possible, GEPF tries to pay this benefit within 72 hours of receiving the application. The benefit is paid out as a cash lump sum and is taxable.
Contact us should you need further assistance. Xpression Assist is an independent company offering a charged service assisting clients with their claim.
Information source: GEPF http://www.gepf.co.za/index.php/our_benefits/article/funeral-benefits