Answer to a question from a reader

Should I wait for my unemployment insurance to finish paying out before applying for an old age pension?

The short answer

Yes, you should probably get all your unemployment insurance payments before applying for an old age pension.

The whole question

I went on pension in May 2019. I am receiving my UIF contributions. My final collection will be in May 2020. Do I first need to claim all money owed to me from the Department of Labour before applying for an old age pension?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking whether you should wait until you have collected all the UIF money owed to you before applying for an old age pension.

As the old age pension is a means-tested grant, and your UIF money will be taken as income, it would probably be better to wait until the UIF money does not show up in your bank account.

The Western Cape government lists the following criteria for receiving an old age pension (or older person’s grant, as they call it):

  • Are a South African citizen or permanent resident or refugee.

  • Live in South Africa

  • Are 60 years or older

  • Are not living in a state institution

  • Are not receiving payments from another social grant

  • Your spouse must comply with the means test.

  • You must submit your identity document (ID)

  • not earn more than R82 400 if you are single or R 164 880 if married.

  • not have assets worth more than R1 174 800 if you are single or R2 349 600 if you're married.

(Above is as of November 2019.)

Wishing you all the best

Answered on Nov. 18, 2019, 4:22 p.m.

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