Beneficiary case studies: Some inspiring real-life stories

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Media Room, Fairheads Times

Student at University

In late 2020, Fairheads Benefit Services held a series of webinars in various languages under the heading of “Planning for your future”. The webinar panelists discussed how beneficiary fund members should start thinking about a career as early as age 16, in order to plan ahead and assess their financial needs for tertiary education.

Beneficiary funds are pension fund organisations that manage the section 37C. lump sum death benefits of deceased retirement fund members on behalf of their minor dependants. A monthly stipend is generally paid to the guardian or caregiver of the dependant (the beneficary fund member) to pay for the member’s subsistence costs, and then capital payments are made for one-off expenses such as medical or education costs. The focus at Fairheads is to make sure that the assets last as long as possible to enable members to obtain an education.

Our webinars featured a few case studies, two of which are given below. *)

KIM NKAHLE, 23 YEARS OLD

Kim’s mother sadly passed on when Kim was 21. Her guardian explained to her that a beneficiary fund account had been set up for her to take care of any future expenses.

As Kim had loved and done well at Maths and Science at high school, she decided to enrol for Engineering, finally deciding on Chemical Engineering (serious stuff!). She was fortunate to obtain a bursary to study at the University of Cape Town which is taking care of her tuition and living costs. She did not necessarily wish to use the money her mother had left her for tertiary education so she has decided to leave it in trust, with Fairheads, as an investment, secure in the knowledge that it would be safeguarded and invested wisely by experts.

Kim says: “My advice to any younger person in high school is to play to your strengths. It is easier to cope with a career that you are passionate about.”

SIYABULELA SODLADLA, 22 YEARS OLD

Siyabula was brought up and lives in Alexandra Township in Sandton, Gauteng. At the time of the Fairheads webinar, he was in his final year of a Bachelor degree in Education, with Maths as his major subject and Science as his sub-major.

He has had a tough life, losing his mother and his father in quick succession over a decade ago and leaving him in the care of his older brother, who was also at school at the time. Siya’s father’s employer informed the siblings that a trust had been set up to look after their financial needs into the future.

He says: “The money helped me so much. I did not have a bursary, nor money for clothes, transport or text books. I get a monthly stipend which has helped with all these expenses. I have been determined to use the trust fund for my education.”

Interestingly – and as an inspiration to other young people – Siya first enrolled for a BsC Engineering. But he was tutoring students in Alex at the same time and he realised that his real passion lay in education, and so he switched to a Bachelor of Education.

He says: “The country needs engineers and scientists. Maths and Science are the subjects that most students battle with, so I wanted to show them that success in these subjects is possible. My advice to high school learners is: what legacy do you want to leave to your future children and your grandchildren? What would you like them to say when they see a photo of you?”

Siya acts as a role model to many young people in Alex. Studying is not easy as there is often a lot of noise and many parties going on. He restrained himself from partying as he did not want to disappoint himself – NOR would he liked to have disappointed his parents.

*) Please note that Fairheads obtained permission to publish this information from the two beneficiaries who were so kind to share their inspiring stories with us.

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