RE­TIR­ING? DON’T FOR­GET THOSE UIF BEN­E­FITS

Reach­ing your firm’s re­tire­ment age? Here’s a step-by-step guide for claim­ing your funds, writes

CityPress - - Business -

When work­ing with soon-to-be re­tirees, I find that many of them would con­tinue to work if they had the op­tion. How­ever, re­duc­ing staff com­ple­ment is a chal­lenge for many com­pa­nies in South Africa, so un­less a per­son has a scarce skill or oc­cu­pies a crit­i­cal po­si­tion where there is no ready re­place­ment, many com­pa­nies do not of­fer their staff the op­tion of work­ing past re­tire­ment age.

For many, the op­tion of con­tin­u­ing to work is based on fi­nan­cial rea­sons, be­cause they have not saved suf­fi­ciently to­wards re­tire­ment.

For these clients, it is im­por­tant that they re­mem­ber to reg­is­ter for Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance Fund (UIF) ben­e­fits when they reach re­tire­ment age. Many of the clients I have worked with were not aware that they could claim UIF ben­e­fits when they re­tired.

They are of­ten not in­formed by the hu­man re­sources de­part­ment in their com­pany, or in some cases thought the UI-19 form was in­cluded in their exit pack­age by mis­take.

Many peo­ple are un­der the im­pres­sion that UIF ben­e­fits are for work­ers who have been re­trenched.

The process to claim ben­e­fits would be as fol­lows:

Re­quest the UI-19 form from the hu­man re­sources de­part­ment;

Com­plete the form and en­sure that the em­ployer signs and stamps it; Sub­mit as per the de­tails on the form; Reg­is­ter as a job­seeker with the de­part­ment of labour; and

En­sure that you ap­ply for ben­e­fits within six months of your em­ploy­ment be­ing ter­mi­nated.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that you do not qual­ify for UIF ben­e­fits if you re­tire early.

This is a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to vol­un­tary re­trench­ment, which also does not qual­ify for UIF ben­e­fits. In both cases, you still have the op­tion to work, but choose not to do so.

With in­vol­un­tary re­trench­ment or when reach­ing the com­pany’s re­tire­ment age, there is no op­tion on the part of the em­ployee, hence the claim for UIF.

These ben­e­fits are paid for a pe­riod of six months and it can take some time for the process to com­plete, so it is im­per­a­tive that you start the process as soon as pos­si­ble when ap­proach­ing the re­tire­ment date.

While we are not in­te­grally part of that process, it is part of our re­tire­ment plan­ning to en­sure that clients test their eli­gi­bil­ity to re­ceive UIF ben­e­fits.

This can have a mean­ing­ful ef­fect on the client’s in­come plan­ning in their first year of re­tire­ment and, as we have seen in some cases, can al­low us to build ad­di­tional flex­i­bil­ity into the over­all re­tire­ment plan. Gra­didge is CEO of Gra­didge-Mahura In­vest­ments.

Visit gmin­vest­ments.co.za

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