The time it takes to get a payout from a retirement fund or for a claim to be processed is a common problem. As a result, many members find themselves in debt or end up canceling funeral or life policies because of a lack of funds. Most people resigning or retiring are disappointed when the excitement of staying at home and managing their own time is surprisingly taken away by the loss of income. This is due to the failure to plan before submitting your retirement or resignation documentation to your employer.

The following are the most common reasons there are delays in payments:

• Failing to submit your notice of resignation or retirement on time. It is preferable to officially resign or retire three months ahead of your desired last date of employment.
• A member failing to complete all the required documents correctly and relying on their district office to assist them.
• Failing to get appropriate financial advice about your retirement options. Some people change their minds in the middle of the process once they realise that their initial choice will, for example, result in them paying a lot of tax. This usually means that they have to restart the whole process, adding another two months to the waiting period. It is best to get appropriate advice on all your options so you can make an informed decision.
• A lack of access to communication tools such as e-mails, the internet, unlimited cellphone airtime or fax services means that communication is inconsistent and corrections recommended by administrators are not implemented timeously, resulting in delays in the system.
• In some cases, you will find that a member leaves the employer in January, but come March of the same year the GEPF does not have the required forms yet.

The role of a financial adviser in your retirement planning

Many members lack the time, knowledge, experience to implement their retirement plans successfully, often encountering difficulties that could have been avoided had they taken advice from a financial adviser at the outset. Our financial advisers have assisted hundreds of government employees with their paperwork, we have a framework for all the documents required to avoid delays in payment of retirement benefits. It usually takes 8 to 12 weeks to finalise the transfer from the time the GEPF confirms that it has received your documents. If you want more certainty regarding your pension payout, talk to a financial adviser before sending your retirement or resignation notification. We will be able to help you reduce the waiting periods and frustrations that are common with pension payouts.

Sphelele Mncube

Head of Investments

Sphelele joined Inkunzi Wealth Group in 2013 and has 9 years’ experience in the investment management industry, having had previously worked for Allan Gray and Regarding Capital Management. Apart from being an active member of our investment team, Sphelele is also responsible for the management of our business. He holds a BCom degree in Economics from the University of Pretoria.