INVESTIGATION AND TRACING SERVICES

This service is provided mainly to Retirement Funds in respect of deceased members but has been extended to other Financial Service Providers. In respect to deceased Retirement Fund members, the process involves an in depth investigation to ascertain the late member’s dependents and nominees. The process entails identifying potential recipients whilst at the same time assessing their financial, emotional and physical circumstances of each beneficiary. Following the investigation, a comprehensive report is provided to the Trustees to assist them in making informed decisions with regard to the distribution of death benefits in terms of Section 33 of the Retirement Funds Act, 2005.

Section 33 of the Retirement Funds Act, 2005 provides fairly onerous requirements on Trustees to ensure all legal and factual dependents are identified including the nominated guardians. The Act does not provide for the manner and extent that each identified dependent should be dealt with but that any benefit entitlement should be allocated in a manner that is deemed “equitable” by the Trustees.

Although in many cases nomination forms may have been completed by the deceased, these only act as a guide as circumstances change during a person’s life. Therefore onus still remains on the Trustees to identify ALL the dependents or beneficiaries in order to make an “equitable” distribution. For the reason that the distribution of death benefit forms an important part of most Trustee responsibilities, Fairlife Benefit Services - Investigation and Tracing Services has been designed to assist in addressing Section 33 death claims.

Fairlife Investigation and Tracing Services Key Features

The following are the key features of the product/service offering:-

  • Identification of legal and factual dependents in terms of Section 33 of the Retirement Funds Act, 2005
  • Contact and obtain all documents, such as proof of identity, relationship to deceased, affidavits and guardian details
  • Verification of all legal dependents and beneficiaries through various data sources using deceased death certificate and ID.
  • Verify the financial status of the guardian to determine their ability to manage proceeds on behalf of minor beneficiaries
  • Verify the financial status of adult beneficiaries so as to inform the Trustee decision on the appropriate allocation of benefits.
  • Tracking the whereabouts of beneficiaries by conducting physical tracing in the beneficiaries’ communities.
  • Conduct assessment to determine financial, emotional and physical circumstances of each beneficiary.
  • Each factor to be investigated in the context of the degree of dependency the person may have had in relation to the late member and the future prospects of all beneficiaries.
  • All documents and information are kept for safe storage and record keeping purposes.
  • Compilation of Trace and Investigation report template detailing all dependents and guardians and attaching documentation to assist the Trustees in the final benefit allocation decision making process.

Investigation and Tracing Methodology

Fairlife Benefit Services will provide a range of tracing methods, of which the following will be employed to suite the specific requirement:

Physical Trace
  • Instruction received to trace a beneficiary through physical trace method
  • Interviews are conducted with the family/neighbours and/or third parties as to the authenticity of the information and the whereabouts of the beneficiary
  • Relevant information/documentation is obtained or requested to assist with investigation
Forensic Trace
  • Conduct an analysis of the data through agent system and other databases
  • Applicants/Beneficiaries are contacted telephonically, noting responses of each contact/ no contact (to determine the next mode of trace: physical/ forensic or walk-in)
  • A report is compiled by tracing agent summarizing searches conducted on the system.
Walk-in Document Collation
  • A walk-in trace is defined as the arrival and identification of an applicant at the Fairlife Benefit Services or tracing agent offices without the steps associated with a physical trace or forensic trace.

Value Proposition

Fundamental to the Fairlife Benefit Services value proposition is to provide Trustees and customers within our target market peace of mind that all dependents are identified and the benefit is adequately apportioned towards where it is most needed i.e. minor beneficiaries. The Investigation and Tracing report is designed to enable the Trustees to obtain a clear picture of the degree of dependency of all beneficiaries, allowing for more informed decisions to be made regarding the allocation of the death benefit of the deceased member.

For more information on the product including pricing, please contact our Business Development Officer or any of the other officials listed as contact persons.