Answer to a question from a reader

Can I still claim my provident fund after being incarcerated for fraud?

The short answer

Yes, but it depends on the amount of damages paid over to your employer.

The whole question

I contributed to a provident fund while I was employed, but was dismissed for fraud. Consequently, I was incarcerated for five years. Can I still claim my provident fund now that I've been released from prison?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking if you can claim your provident fund now that you have been released after serving five years in prison for fraud.

The Pension Funds Adjudicator ruled in 2000 that a person’s pension or provident fund could be withheld until such time as a court decided if they were guilty or not. If found guilty of fraud, the pension or provident fund could deduct an amount from their benefits and pay it over to the employer to cover the losses suffered by the employer.

The trustees of the fund have to ensure that they are fully informed of the facts of the case and check if the amount of the fraud covers the member's whole provident benefit or not.

You could contact the provident fund and ask them what the amount of damages paid over to your employer was, and if it used up your whole benefit or not. If not, you are entitled to claim what remains.

Answered on March 11, 2020, 11:52 a.m.

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