Answer to a question from a reader

Can my half-brother’s GEPF share be given to me, since his whereabouts are unknown?

The short answer

GEPF can't give you your half-brother's share. But you could contact them and explain the position you are in.

The whole question

My father died in 2001. He was from Zambia but he was a permanent resident in South Africa. He worked for the Department of Health until his death. My father nominated my half brother and I as beneficiaries to his GEPF pension. I received my own share, however, my half-brother is based in Zambia. I have never met him and I do not have any contact. I have searched for him but to no avail. It has been years now. If my half-brother cannot be found, can his share then be given to me?

The long answer

I do not think that GEPF can give you your half-brother’s share as you are a beneficiary who has already received your share.

GEPF says that it is most concerned about beneficiaries who have not claimed their benefits and that the benefits will remain in GEPF’s unclaimed benefits fund until GEPF locates the beneficiary.

Even though it is very unlikely that GEPF will locate your half-brother in Zambia, given that 19 years have passed since your father’s death, the fund is not legally able to give the benefit to another beneficiary. 

Perhaps you could contact the GEPF yourself with your father’s details, including ID number, dates of service and death certificate and ask them to explain the position to you. You could ask them what steps they are taking to locate your half-brother in Zambia.

Here is the GEPF toll-free contact number: 0800 117 669


Tel: (012) 326 2507

Answered on Oct. 9, 2020, 2:27 p.m.

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