Your divorce or­der must be pre­cise on pen­sion split

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODWINES -

A re­tire­ment fund can­not be or­dered to split your pen­sion ben­e­fits with your for­mer spouse un­less the divorce or­der pro­vides for this and stip­u­lates the name of the fund.

El­marie de la Rey, the act­ing Pen­sion Funds Ad­ju­di­ca­tor, this week dis­missed a case in which R Bud­hoo, a mem­ber of the Sa­sol Pen­sion Fund, com­plained that the fund had re­fused to en­dorse its records and pay half his pen­sion in­ter­est to his for­mer wife, E Bud­hoo, as he and his wife had agreed.

Ac­cord­ing to the rul­ing, the fund told Bud­hoo the divorce or­der did not com­ply with the Divorce Act and it was there­fore un­able to split the pen­sion ben­e­fits. The fund ad­vised Bud­hoo to ap­proach the court that granted the divorce or­der to have it amended.

When De la Rey’s of­fice in­ves­ti­gated, it found the divorce or­der did not state that Mrs Bud­hoo was en­ti­tled to any pen­sion in­ter­est, nor did it stip­u­late the fund whose records should be en­dorsed and that should make the pay­ment. It stated only that an amount of R68 000 would be paid to Bud­hoo af­ter Mrs Bud­hoo re­ceived the pen­sion fund money.

De la Rey says in her rul­ing that in terms of the Pen­sion Funds Act and the Divorce Act, for the pay­ment of pen­sion in­ter­est to a non-mem­ber spouse it is re­quired that the divorce or­der must specif­i­cally pro­vide for the non­mem­ber’s en­ti­tle­ment and must di­rect the fund to en­dorse its records and pay the pen­sion in­ter­est as the non­mem­ber di­rects.

De la Rey says that al­though Bud­hoo agreed to half of his pen­sion in­ter­est be­ing paid to his spouse, his con­sent can­not be sub­sti­tuted for the un­en­force­abil­ity of the or­der.

The com­plaint was there­fore dis­missed.

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