1 August 2019
The rules of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) have been amended.
National treasury published the amendments in Government Gazette 42603.
The amendments were made in terms of section 29 of the Government Employees Pension Law of 1996.
A new definition on divorce debt is added to the rules.
“’divorce debt’ in relation to a member means, in respect of a member who divorced prior to 1 August 2019 and whose former spouse was paid a portion of the member’s pension interest and which member notified the Fund in the prescribed period that he or she still wishes the divorce debt approach to be applied to him or her, an amount equivalent to the amount of the pension interest assigned to the member’s former spouse in terms of a divorce order or decree of dissolution of marriage accumulated from the date of payment to the former spouse to the date on which a benefit is paid to the member in terms of the rules together with the interest from the date of payment to the former spouse at the rate or rates determined from time to time by the Board as the rate or rates of interest payable in respect of monies owed to the Fund, adjusted by any amounts repaid to the Fund by the member to reduce this divorce debt.”
Certain provisions are set down if a member of the Fund becomes a member of a related fund within six months of him or her terminating his or her membership of the Fund.
In such case, no benefit is paid to the member on his or her termination of membership of the Fund.
A new Rule 14.10 is also added dealing with the assignment of a share of a member’s pension interest to his or her former spouse.
Within 45 days after the submission of the divorce order by the former spouse, the Fund must request the former spouse to choose whether the amount to be deducted must be paid directly to the former spouse or transferred to an approved retirement fund on the former spouse’s behalf.
In a nutshell, the amendment now ensures that rather than creating a debt, there will be an adjustment to the member’s pensionable service following the payment of a divorce settlement by the GEPF.
Benefits to be paid to members upon retirement will be decreased by reducing the members’ years of pensionable service to take into account the pension interest paid to the spouse upon divorce.
The amendments came into effect on 1 August 2019.