During his lifetime, the complainant’s husband was a member of the first respondent, a retirement fund. Upon his death in January 2014, a death benefit of R531 879,84 became available for distribution in terms of section 37C of the Pension Funds Act 24 of 1956 (“the act”). The fund identified the dependants of the deceased and distributed the benefit amongst them. Included in the distribution was the complainant as the civil law wife of the deceased, and another person as the customary law wife of the deceased. They were each paid 15% of the death benefit. Dissatisfied with the allocation and distribution of the benefit, the complainant claimed that as she was the legal wife of the deceased, the full death benefit should be paid to her.
Click here to read a summary of this Pension Fund Adjudicator Ruling.