The Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA) has cautioned against the use of unscrupulous tracing agents who are not linked to pension funds if they want to know if they have unclaimed funds.

About 4.8 million South Africans have not claimed their pension savings which now amount to R43 billion. The authority’s retirements manager Sanele Magazi says the so-called tracing agents have seen a gap in which they are taking advantage of the vulnerable.

“These guys are not even assisting with tracing and they claim to be connected to pension funds or some of them pretended to be agents of the FSCA telling people that “here’s a benefit statement you are owed a million rand by a certain fund.” Genuine pension fund tracers as well as the FSCA itself do not have details relating to the amount that is owed to a specific person. Those details lie with the relevant pension fund.”

Magazi says some members are not even aware that they have been contributing. He says due to poor record-keeping members cannot be traced.

Magazi has emphasized that the authority does not charge any member for assistance and a genuine tracing agent will never ask for a fee from a member.

He says they have outreach programmes and ways in which they assist members.

The FSCA call center number is 0800 203 772 for anyone with queries.