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FSB warns about retirement benefit ‘tracing agents’

Personal Finance

The Financial Services Board (FSB) has received a number of tip-offs that a certain Samantha Jonkers is operating in Ennerdale, Johannesburg, as a “financial claiming agent” for beneficiaries of unclaimed retirement fund benefits.

The FSB says it has received reports that:

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• Jonkers charges a consultation fee of R250 to anyone seeking her help in claiming a benefit;

• She claims that she works for the FSB; and

• She tells claimants she has direct access to fund information regarding their fund credits;

It is also reported that Jonkers has different fund administrators’ claim forms at her disposal that she may be using fraudulently.

The FSB says that if you believe you are entitled to a benefit or surplus from a retirement fund, you may ask another person to help you claim, but the only people who can legitimately charge for providing such assistance are authorised financial services providers and attorneys.

The FSB itself provides a free service, through the office of the Registrar of Pension Funds, to help retirement fund members or beneficiaries trace unclaimed benefits by liaising with the applicable funds or their administrators.

The pension and provident funds themselves also may not charge a fee for helping their members to claim what is due to them.

If you want the FSB to help you trace an unclaimed benefit, you can visit its website, www.fsb.co.za, download and complete the necessary form, and email it to [email protected]. For general queries, you can call 0800 20 2087 or 0800 110 443.

The FSB’s anonymous fraud and ethics tip-offs hot-line is 0800 31 36 26 and the email address is [email protected].

Earlier, the FSB warned about people purportedly acting on behalf of retirement fund administrator Alexander Forbes who approach you about recovering unclaimed pension benefits.

According to the FSB, these “agents” say they are acting on behalf of Alexander Forbes and that, for a fee, they will trace pension fund members or their beneficiaries and recover unpaid benefits.

Alexander Forbes has disassociated itself from this practice. It has told the FSB that it deals with clients directly, and its general approach is to not use “agents” as go-betweens.

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