Answer to a question from a reader

How can I claim my provident fund if my former employer refuses to give me the withdrawal form?

The short answer

Your employer legally has to sign your withdrawal notification.

The whole question

I had to resign last year but my employer doesn't want to give me the form to claim my provident fund. What is the way to claim without my employer ?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking how you can claim your provident fund after resigning last year when your employer refuses to give you the withdrawal form.

Your employer legally has to sign your withdrawal notification form to prove to the provident fund that you no longer work there, and to indicate if you resigned or retired.

Even if there is a dispute between you and your employer about financial damage she might have suffered due to your negligence or dishonesty, she still cannot refuse to sign the withdrawal notification form. In that case she must indicate on the form that she has opened a legal case against you and request that payment of your benefits is delayed until the case is settled. Only if the court decides in favour of the employer and makes a court order, can the provident fund deduct the amount from your benefit.

The Pension Fund Act says that an employer must open a legal case within a reasonable amount of time or at most, three months after the date of withdrawal. If no court case is opened within this time, the provident fund must pay the member his benefit.

Only if the member signs an agreement that he or she is responsible for damages and agrees to pay the employer an agreed amount, can the fund deduct this amount from the member’s benefit and pay it over to the employer.

If there is no dispute and you are simply unable to get a form from the employer or the human resources department, you can approach the provident fund yourself with an affidavit giving the date of your resignation and that that your employer refuses to provide you with a withdrawal form. If you bring all the documents needed they will accept a form that you fill out and sign, and will contact your employer themselves to get her signature, or the Board of Management of the Fund will instruct the fund administrator to simply pay out your benefits. You will need to bring a certified copy of your ID and bank statement. If your tax affairs are in order you should be paid out within 14 to 21 days.

Answered on Feb. 5, 2020, 4:28 p.m.

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