Who will get your money when you die?
When last did you check who you nominated as beneficiaries to receive your retirement fund benefit when you pass away?
You can make sure your family is taken care of when you are no longer here by updating your beneficiary nomination information at least yearly. It is also essential to update your beneficiaries following any major life event, such as getting married, the birth of a child, getting divorced, or if one of your nominated beneficiaries passed away.
What you need to know
The trustees place great weight on your beneficiary nomination, especially if it is up to date. This, however, does not mean that your death benefit will be distributed as specified on the nomination, as the trustees have to follow the process as set out in the Pension Funds Act. As part of the process, they have to determine the needs of those persons that were financially dependent on you and see if it would be possible to meet that first, before considering other potential beneficiaries.
A beneficiary is a person that you nominate to receive all or a percentage of the money from your policies, certain investments and retirement funds when you pass away. You can nominate one person or more than one, and choose the percentage you want every beneficiary to get.
Beneficiaries should include your spouse or partner, your children, any person that is financially dependent on you or any person that you want to receive a part of your benefit. However, your dependant(s) get preference over nominees.
Anyone that was legally or financially dependent on you at the time of your death – or anyone you would have had to look after in the future (like an unborn child, fiancé or elderly parent).
Up-to-date information will make sure your benefits are paid out to the correct beneficiaries. Trustees will first make sure that people who are financially dependent on the member are taken care of before considering the nominated beneficiaries.
The trustees of your retirement fund will use your nomination form as the starting point to look for potential beneficiaries when you die. The nomination can guide them to decide who to consider as dependants and potential beneficiaries of your pension money and then decide what will be the fairest and most reasonable way to divide the money among them.
4 good reasons to nominate
- If you do not have any dependants, the nominated beneficiaries will be allocated the percentage of the benefit for which they were nominated. The benefit will then be paid to them 12 months after the date of your death.
- Your beneficiaries may get the money quicker because some estates can take a long time to wind up.
- An executor’s fee is generally paid based on a percentage of your estate, and by excluding pension money, which can add up to quite a substantial amount, the executor’s fee will be lower if beneficiaries are inheriting this money.
- If you do not have any dependants and also did not nominate a beneficiary, and you also do not have an estate, the benefit will be paid to an unclaimed benefit fund or the Guardian’s Fund. Completing a nomination will avoid that.
How to update your list of nominees
- Speak to your financial adviser if you want to find out who your nominees are or to update your list.
- You can also log in to your Momentum profile to see your beneficiaries.
- Not yet registered? Create a login profile
- To change your beneficiaries, email us a signed request with your policy or contract number, or contact us at [email protected]. Your beneficiary list will be updated once we have confirmed it in writing.