Answer to a question from a reader

What is the difference between GEPF estate maintenance and child pension?

The short answer

Child pension is for the deceased member's children, while death benefits include other beneficiaries

The long answer

When a member of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) dies, the GEPF will pay a monthly child pension to his or her young children, from birth until the child is 22 years old. This applies to children born of the marriage, illegitimate children and adopted children.

It used to be that both parents had to die before the child received a pension from GEPF, but the rules have been changed so that children can receive a child’s pension even if one parent is still alive. 

The benefit is paid into the guardian’s account if the child is under 18, and after 18 years it must be paid into the child’s own account.

If the beneficiaries are younger than 18, their guardian must provide GEPF with:

• A guardian letter stating that the children are minors in the guardian’s care

• A certified copy of the guardian’s ID (certification not older than six months)

• Certified copies of the children’s birth certificates

If the beneficiaries are 18 years or older, they need to submit:

• A correctly completed Banking Details form (Z894)

• Certified copies of their ID documents (certification not older than six months)

The GEPF does not refer to “estate maintenance” in its documents, but it pays death benefits to beneficiaries if a member dies in service or within five years of retiring. If a member died within five years of retirement, the GEPF would pay out the balance of the five years in a lump sum payment.

The surviving spouse or eligible life partner is entitled to a percentage of the annuity (monthly pension payment) paid to the member by the GEPF at the time of death. This also applies if the member dies while in service and had a full potential service period of at least 10 years – which is pensionable service years plus unexpired years until normal retirement.

You can contact the GEPF here:

Toll-free contact number: 0800 117 669

Or head office number: (012) 326 2507

Or E-mail:

Answered on Dec. 8, 2020, 4 p.m.

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