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When can I change my death benefits? 

Members with more than 10 years pensionable service can reduce their death benefit every year on 1 January, but the total death benefit of a member may not be less than 4 times annual deemed pensionable amount (DPA).

For example, if the balance in your Retirement Savings Account is two times your annual deemed pensionable amount, you can reduce your death benefit from the Fund to twice your annual deemed pensionable amount (i.e. your death benefit is then four times your annual deemed pensionable amount).

If you elect to reduce your death cover in this way then your Retirement Savings Account will be credited with an additional contribution. 

Members with more than 10 years pensionable service will receive communication relating to reducing their death benefit in November of every year.
 
Can I increase my death cover at a later stage?
 
Only if the number of people dependent on you increases, may you elect to increase your death cover again. However, your death cover will only be increased if the Insurer with whom the Fund has insured the death benefit is prepared to increase your death cover (the Insurer may ask you to undergo a medical examination so that it can assess whether you are in good health).
The decision to reduce your death cover is a difficult one and there is a separate guide Choosing your death cover dealing with the issues you should consider in this regard.
 
Important issues to note
  • The Fund insures its death benefits and those provided by the separate Group Life Assurance scheme. The Insurer will require members that have death cover in excess of a certain amount to provide evidence of health.
  • If you are affected by this limit, you will be required to provide such medical evidence, as your benefit is restricted to the amount that the Insurer pays. 
  • To qualify for the death benefit you must be actively at work on the first day of your employment. This means no death benefit will be paid if you were appointed by UCT, but never spent time at work.
  • There are also specific policy exclusions that relate inter alia to hazardous activities and pastimes. Full details of the exclusions that apply are available from the Principal Officer. 
  • The separate lump sum death and disability scheme also has an option whereby you can elect additional death and disability cover on a voluntary basis.