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Death Benefits

If you die while you are a member of the Fund, your dependants will receive:

  • the greater of twice your annual RFI or your Fund credit, at the date of death, plus
  • a monthly pension payable to your spouse or life partner of 40% of your RFI (if elected), plus
  • monthly pensions payable to your eligible children of 20% of your monthly RFI, per eligible child, subject to a maximum of two eligible children (if elected).

Pensions are increased each year at the discretion of the Board, and continue to be paid until the earlier of:

  • your spouse’s death or
  • the date you would have attained age 65


  • In the case of the children’s pension, payments will continue as long as the child is under age 21 (or 25 if still undergoing full-time education) and unmarried, or for life if the child is permanently incapacitated.

You may elect not to enjoy the spouse and/or children’s pension benefit in exchange for a greater monthly contribution towards retirement benefits. The option not to select the children’s benefit is conditional on you having no eligible children.

Additional Life Cover

There is an opportunity for members of UWRF to obtain additional life cover. Cover may be selected in multiples of your RFI from once to eight times. Cover ceases at age 65, or if you leave Wits before then, although there is an option to continue with the cover on an individual basis.

Once you have joined, you must stay on the Additional Life Cover Scheme until 1 January the following year, when you may decide to cancel the additional cover, keep your election the same, increase your election (but only by an extra one times), or you may decrease your election by any multiple. An exception is a life-changing event being marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. On one of these events a member may increase or decrease your election by any multiple. If you leave the Scheme on 1 January or upon a life-changing event, you are not permitted to rejoin the Scheme at a later date.

In the event of your death, payment will be made in accordance with your wishes expressed in your UWRF Beneficiary Nomination Form, or you may complete a separate nomination form.

Please click here for the nomination of beneficiary form.

Your Death Benefit Is Allocated

The law says that the Board must decide how to divide your lump sum death benefit between your dependants and your nominees if you die while you are a member of a Fund. The Board needs to find out who all your dependants are and who you have nominated to receive some of the death benefit, and then decide how to pay the benefit fairly. They have a duty to share the death benefit fairly and focus on providing for your dependants. The Board must decide who to pay, how much to pay each person and how to pay them.

It’s important to keep your dependants and nominees form up to date. Please click here for the nomination of beneficiary form.

The Board will consider the dependants and nominees form that you completed when they make their decision on how to share the death benefit. The Board uses this form to see what your wishes were. They use the details on the form as a guide when they are allocating the death benefit. They do not have to follow your wishes.

If you keep the dependants and nominees form up to date, it will make it easier for the Board and your employer to establish who your dependents and nominees are. If the form is out of date, the Board might make a decision that is different from what you would have wished. It is a good idea to update the form when there is a big change in your life – for example when you get married, divorced or have a child.