The Importance Of Correct Wording In Your Divorce Decree

What Is The Clean-Break Principle?

The GEPF introduce the “clean-break” principle for the division of pension benefits. On 14 December 2011 the GEP Law Amendment Act 2011 amended the law to provide for the implementation of the “clean-break” principle.  This means that former spouses of members contributing to the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) can now claim their share of the fund as stipulated in their divorce order and don’t have to wait until retirement, resignation or death.

Why Is This Important When You Get Divorced?

Pension interest forms part of your spouse’s assets and depending on your marital regime, you may be entitled to claim a share. Read more.

How Do You Ensure You Can Claim This Benefit?

  • The percentage or exact amount of the pension interest you are claiming must be agreed upon and stipulated in the divorce settlement. Stating “the joint estate must be divided” or “a share of the pension” will not qualify you to claim.
  • The name of the Fund must be stipulated; in this instance, “Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF)”
  • Direct the Fund to pay the ex-spouse pension interest; and
  • Make certain to send an original certified copy of the Final Divorce Decree and Settlement with all other supporting documents to the GEPF

It is imperative that these details are correctly stipulated in a divorce settlement agreement.

What Citation Must Be Used To Ensure You Have A Valid Claim?

A typical way in which a pension clause is formulated in a divorce settlement agreement would be as follows:

“In terms of Section 7(7) and 7(8)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Divorce Act 70 of 1979 it is agreed that 50% of the pension interest, due and assigned to the Plaintiff/Defendant, held in the Government Employees Pension Fund be paid to the Defendant/Plaintiff by the aforementioned fund when any such pension benefits accrue in respect of the Plaintiff/Defendant, up to the date of the granting of the Decree of Divorce. An endorsement to this effect must be made in the records of the abovementioned Pension Fund, member number XXXXX.”

It is important as indicated above to make mention that an endorsement be made in the records of the pension fund that the relevant interest in the pension fund be paid.

What Happens If The Wording Is Incorrect?

Failure to formulate the clause properly in the settlement agreement and/or Divorce Decree will only result in an “no endorsement” and the divorce interest not being paid to the non-member. Further application for and amendment of the divorce order will have to be brought to court and will result in unnecessary cost and time delay.

The GEPF only acts on a correct formulated Divorce Decree and/or Settlement and can only pay the non-member once a court order is presented.

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12 thoughts on “The Importance Of Correct Wording In Your Divorce Decree”

    1. Xpression Assist

      Good day Zimele, the GEPF offices are currently closed due to the National Lockdown. I have sent you an email with further information on how I can be of assistance. Kind regards

  1. Good day,

    I need to submit my claim to the GEPF but i don’t know what documents are required to submit.
    When i call their offices there is no answer

    1. Xpression Assist

      Dear Vusani, I can most definitely assist you to submit your claim and ensure it is processed and paid. I have sent you an email with further information. Regards, Janene

  2. Good afternoon,

    I would like to enquire if the pension redress process has started up and how can I find out the status of the claims.

    Regards
    Veronique

    1. Xpression Assist

      Dear Veronique, The GEPF is currently not processing any Redress claims. Pension redress was an additional task given to GEPF to handle the payment after PSCBC made all the decisions. This is not the core functions of GEPF and therefore it is placed on hold until after the lockdown. The few personnel at work already struggle to pay the normal claims and the additional load cannot also be accommodated. Should you have any further queries I suggest you contact the PSCBC directly.

  3. Good day
    What exactly are you guys doing are you assisting people getting there money quicker or what is the process

    1. Xpression Assist

      Good day Liesl, I assist my clients with their claim by following-up personally on their claims. You are welcome to email me with your specific query and I will send you information on how I can assist, janene@xpression.co.za

  4. Good Day,

    I am waiting for a maintenance payout from the GEPF for my kids, still have not received anything and cannot get through to your offices.

    1. Xpression Assist

      Dear Taryn, Arrear child maintenance will only be paid when the member resigns or at time of death. I advise you make sure that the GEPF has an original certified copy of the court order on file.

  5. Jonas Mfaseng Ntsabo

    Good Afternoon

    Complaint about claim, since 15 January 2021 all my documents were received on 18 January 2021 now since wait till to this date then on the 02 March 2021, just received a response by call from GEPF concerning Settlement agreement and decree of divorce was not certified but it’s for second time to claim start last around October 2020. Now please i need your assistance since struggling and i was assisted by Old Mutual Financial advisor by that time till now

    1. Xpression Assist

      Dear Jonas, I can assist by following-up with GEPF and help to have your claim finalized as quickly as possible. I have sent you an email with further information.

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