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Unclaimed benefits

What are unclaimed benefits?

There are millions of South Africans who have insurance or savings payouts due to them that they haven’t claimed. As Metropolitan, we have gone out of our way to pay our clients. 

If you suspect that you have unclaimed benefits due to you or would like to find out more about claiming payouts, click here

Cancelling your policy

If I cancel my policy on and before the 15th of any month, how long will I still be covered for? 

You will be covered until the end of the month in which you submitted the cancellation.

Should I cancel my policy on the 14th  of a month, can I expect a refund?

You are covered until the end of that month. If the waiting period has expired and premiums are up to date, the premiums we received after the month of cancellation will be paid back to you. 

Should I cancel my policy and I never missed a premium, do I get all my premiums or a percentage of

No premiums are refundable; your funeral benefit is a pure risk and not a savings policy. Metropolitan would have been obligated to pay in the event of any claims which arise prior to cancellation. 

Can I change my mind if I have already cancelled my policy?

Yes, you can request to reinstate your policy within the 30-day cooling off period. 

I cancelled my policy with Metropolitan due to financial restraints and now I want to reinstate it.

Whether or not you are able to reinstate your existing policy will depend on the product and whether you have reinstated your policy before in the past. To confirm whether you can reinstate your policy, it is best to contact the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724, visit any of the Metropolitan branches or refer to your policy documentation. 

Complaints

What is a complainant?

A complainant is a person who submits a complaint, which includes: 

  • Policyholders or the policyholders' successor in title 
  • A beneficiary or the beneficiaries successor in title 
  • A person whose life is insured under a policy 
  • A person that pays a premium in respect of a policy 
  • Member or, 
  • Potential policyholders or potential member whose dissatisfaction relates to the relevant application, approach, solicitation or advertising or marketing material. 

Who has a direct interest in the agreement, policy or service to which the complaint relates, or a person acting on behalf of a person referred to in the list above. 

Who can complain?

You can complain if you are dissatisfied with the following from Metropolitan: 

  • We have failed to keep our end of an agreement, law, rule or code of conduct which binds us. 
  • We have failed to take action or have caused personal harm, prejudice, distress or a substantial inconvenience. 
  • We have treated you unfairly. 

When it comes to lodging a complaint with us, the complainant can be anyone of the following: 

  • A policy owner or the policy owner's successor. 
  • A beneficiary on the policy or the said beneficiary's successor. 
  • A person whose life is insured under the policy. 
  • A person that pays a premium towards a policy with us. 
  • A member of the Metropolitan Provident/Pension funds or a member of the Metropolitan Life Retirement Annuity Fund. 
  • A potential policyholder or potential member whose dissatisfaction is related to a specific application, approach, solicitation, advertising or marketing material. 
What is an escalated complaint?  

An escalated complaint is an extension of a complaint relating to the outcome of the initial complaint. The complaint is so complex or unusual that it requires intervention by an impartial senior functionary appointed to deal with escalated complaints, or the resolution of the initial complaint is not to the complainant’s satisfaction and is then referred to the appropriate Regulator or Ombudsman scheme by the complainant. 

Who can I escalate my complaint to?  

If you are unhappy with our service, you can complain by following the process below: 

  1. You can submit your complaint online here. The contact centre will then get in touch to let you know that your complaint has been received and has been assigned to someone. We aim to resolve your concerns in the shortest amount of time. 
  2. If the assigned consultant cannot resolve your complaint or you are not satisfied with their feedback, you have the right to escalate your complaint. We have a  Client Care division which solves complex or unusual complaints. You can get in touch with them by sending an email to the following email address.   
  3. Once you have submitted a complaint with us and you are still not satisfied with the feedback on your complaint, you can contact the relevant Ombudsman using the details below: 

 

Long Term Insurance Ombudsman 
For all your long-term insurance complaints. 
Tel: 021 657 5000 
Fax: 021 674 0951 
Share call: 0860 103 236 
E-mail: [email protected] 
Postal address: Private Bag X45, Claremont, 7735 

FAIS Ombudsman 
For all complaints related to financial advice. 
Fax: 012 348 3447 
Share call: 0860 324 766 (0860 FAISOM) 
E-mail: [email protected] 
Postal address: PO Box 74571, Lynwood Ridge, 0040 

Pension Funds Adjudicator 
For all complaints related to a Metropolitan Life Retirement Annuity, Pension or Provident Fund. 
Tel:  012 7484000 
Fax:  0866937472 
Email: [email protected] 
Postal address: P O Box 580, Menlyn, 0063 

My policy

When should I update my policy? 

Your life is always changing, and there are certain events that happen that should trigger you to have a look at your insurance policies to make sure that you are still covered for all your needs. A good financial practice is to update your policy yearly as your premiums increase, but the following are also good factors to trigger you to update your policy: 

  • When your marital status changes - If you are recently married or divorced, you may need to relook your insurance and the amount that you are covered for. 
  • When your employment changes - Whether you may be earning more money and need to cover your family for more, or you are joining a company with a different benefit structure, you will need to have a look and adjust your current policy.
  • When you have a child or children - Anytime you add a child to your family you need to consider the various policies you have. Your policies will have to be adjusted in order to make provision for your children. 
Can I skip a premium?  

You can skip a premium as long as you do not skip more than 3 premiums within the first 3 years of your policy.

How can I continue with my premium payments if I am no longer working for a company that deducted my

You may change your payment method to bank debit order to continue with premium payments. You are welcome to contact our individual contact centre at 0860 724 724 to have a chat with one of our expert consultants who will gladly assist you. 

Why do I need a beneficiary?

Appointing a beneficiary for the proceeds of your policy is important. This ensures that the money is paid out in a reasonable amount of time once a claim arises. If a beneficiary is not chosen, Metropolitan as the insurer will have to follow a process to decide who the proceeds should be paid to. We may request additional documentation to finalise the claim, this will then delay the payment of a claim. 

As a plan owner, you should nominate a beneficiary for ownership to make sure that the policy is transferred to the nominated beneficiary if you were to die. This ensures that any further claims made after the passing of the main member are processed in as soon as possible to the new policy owner without Metropolitan requesting any additional documents. 

What family circumstances can affect my funeral policy? 

If you divorce or no longer live with your life partner after insuring them under immediate family cover, your partner can remain on your plan as part of immediate family cover but you can't increase their cover. 

It's also important to inform Metropolitan when a child no longer qualifies for children cover and must be moved to Child for Life cover. This must be done within three months of the child no longer qualifying for the cover. This will help you to avoid a new waiting period; this change may affect the monthly premiums. 

Does Metropolitan need my tax number? 

If you have a pension fund or retirement annuity with us, you need to provide us with your income tax number. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) requires that every pensioner/annuitant/employee receiving a pension/annuity/salary needs an Income Tax Number in order to receive these payments. Without an income tax number on record, your income will be withheld until you have received a tax number. Without a tax number, you will not be able to complete and submit your annual tax returns either. 

To submit your Income tax number to Metropolitan, email your tax number, together with your ID number or Policy number to [email protected]

**To register for income tax in South Africa you will need to complete an IB-IT 77 form and submit it to SARS with supporting documents. These include a certified copy of your South African driver’s license, ID or passport. SARS requires your bank details and confirmation of these details in the form of a certified copy of your bank statement.

I received an SMS from Metropolitan requesting documents. How do I know it’s legal and directly from

If you receive an SMS and are not sure whether the SMS has been sent by Metropolitan, it is best to contact the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724 to confirm that the SMS is legitimate. 

How do I find out if my new policy has been approved by Metropolitan? 

How do I find out if my new policy has been approved by Metropolitan? 

Once your policy is accepted and issued, Metropolitan will send you the policy documentation via the mail or e-mail. If you select to receive your policy documentation via email, you should receive this immediately. If you selected to receive your contract via post, bear in mind that there may be some delays due to the postal services in South Africa. You should expect to receive your documents within 31 days. 

To confirm whether your policy has been accepted, you can contact your Metropolitan financial adviser, the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724 or visit any of the Metropolitan branches. 

To find a branch, click here

What is AIM? 

The Automatic Inflation Management (AIM) benefit helps to protect your funeral cover against future increases in the cost of living (inflation). This benefit automatically increases your premium and your funeral cover on the anniversary of your funeral policy. 

 

How does it work?  

Once a year, the cover levels of all your benefits will automatically increase. 

This increase is designed to help protect your funeral cover against future increases in the cost of a funeral, also known as inflation. 

You can choose one of two options. For each option, your premium and cover will increase by the percentage chosen.

You can choose: 

Option 1:   6% – Premium increases by 6% and cover increases by 4.2% 
Option 2:   10% – Premium increases by 10% and cover increases by 7% 

You can skip the annual AIM increases as many times as you want, but you must tell Metropolitan if you want to skip AIM increases. 

 

AIM will not apply if: 

  • You choose to cancel AIM 
  • You are asked to skip the next AIM increase 
  • Your stop order agency does not allow AIM increases 
  • Your plan is eventually paid up 
  • If you have the Paid-up benefit on the member reaching retirement age and you want to protect your cover against inflation, you will need to add the AIM benefit at least five years before you reach your retirement age.

Wills explained

What is a Will?

A Will is a binding expression of your wishes. It says what you want to happen to your assets when you pass on. A Will can provide protection for your family when you are no longer there. It is an important document and must be reviewed annually or when your circumstances change. If, for example, you get married or have children, your will should be reviewed to see if it is still achieving its purpose.

What effect does my marital status have on my Will?

If you are married in community of property the surviving spouse will only be able to deal with their own half of the estate. 

The other half will be administered as your deceased estate. 

This may mean you should consider whether there will be sufficient cash available for the surviving spouse while the estate is being wound up. 

This is particularly important if you have a joint bank account. You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash. 

If you are married out of community but subject to the accrual system, you must consider the amount of accrual. 

If your estate has to pay an accrual to your surviving spouse, there may be less left for other beneficiaries. 

It may also mean that, if the accrual is payable to your estate, your surviving spouse will be short of money or may have to sell an asset like the house they are living in. 

You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash. 

What is an heir?

An heir is the person who receives your remaining estate when you pass on. You can nominate anyone as heir for the remainder of your estate. The remainder is the amount left over after expenses (like tax and executors fees) have been paid. It is important to identify your heirs clearly, so their identity number is required. If there is only one heir, they will receive the full remainder of your estate. 

What is an Ante-nuptial contract?

An ante-nuptial contract is entered into by two people before they get married. 

This contract regulates and makes provision for the two parties in the event of a divorce or break up. The contract must be registered in the deeds office.

What do common marital arrangements mean?

What does it mean to be married In Community of Property? 

This is a marital arrangement where the spouses share their estates during the course of the marriage and when it ends, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the joint estate. The remainder of the estate is distributed in accordance with the will of the deceased spouse. If you do not enter into an ante-nuptial contract you are automatically married in community of property. 

 

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property? 

This is a marital arrangement where both spouses have separate estates during the existence of their marriage and do not share each other’s profits or losses during or after the marriage (whether the marriage ends by divorce or death). You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property. 

 

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property subject to the accrual system? 

This is a marital arrangement where once the marriage is dissolved; neither spouse will be liable for the other spouse’s debts. However, the parties have to share what they have acquired together during the existence of the marriage. You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property subject to the accrual system. 

What is the difference between a testator and testatrix?

What is a testator? 

A testator is a man who makes or has made a will. 

 

What is a testatrix? 

A testatrix is a woman who makes or has made a will. 

What an executor?

What an executor?

An executor is a person appointed by the Master of the High Court to administer the estate of a person who has died. The executor must ensure that the estate is wound up in accordance with the law and any wishes of the deceased (as expressed in a will). Practical responsibilities include gathering and protecting the assets of the estate, arranging for payment of debts of the estate and paying taxes. 

What is a bequest?

A bequest is a legacy. It is leaving something to someone in terms of a will. 

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person who looks after and is legally responsible for a child whose parents have died. 

What is a trust?

A trust is an entity created to protect the assets or money of another – usually minors. A trust is an arrangement in terms of which a person hands over certain assets to a second person (the Trustee) to administer/manage for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). 

Monthly payments

Who is METROPOLIT?
  • From August 2020, the reference number for your Metropolitan funeral policy debit order will change to  METROPOLIT (plus one of your funeral policy numbers). This used to be  AMETLIFE (plus a bank reference). 
  • Your reference number for your funeral policies may differ if you have more than one but the amount deducted will remain the same. 
Why is there more than one deduction on my bank statement for my Metropolitan policies?
  • We have moved your funeral policy/policies/some of your policies to our new administration platform.
  • You will be able to see your funeral policy premium deduction (with METROPOLIT and the policy number as your new reference) on your bank statement and this will allow you to better keep track of your premium payments for each policy you have.
  • Your endowment/retirement policies have not been moved and these policies will continue to have the reference of AMETLIFE (plus a bank reference number).
  • The change in reference number for your funeral policy has no effect on the terms and conditions of your policy.
Are the multiple deductions on my bank statement going to cost me more money?
  • Some clients have packages at their banks that allow them a certain number of debit orders, without charge.
  • Once this limit has been exceeded, your bank may charge you for the additional debit orders on your account.
I've never seen the reference with METROPOLITAN on my bank statement before. Is this a new reference
  • Reference numbers for your funeral policies have changed to show METROPOLIT (and the policy number as reference) on your bank statement. 
  • This is because they were moved to our new administration system. 
  • This is not a fraudulent deduction. 
  • Your endowment/retirement policies have not been moved and these policies will continue to show the reference of AMETLIFE (bank reference number). 
  • The change in reference number has no effect on the terms and conditions of your policy. 
Why has the reference number on my bank statement changed?
  • We constantly look to improve our administration platforms to provide a better client experience. The change in reference number is as a result of your funeral policy/policies being moved to a new administration platform. 
  • The reference for your funeral plan will change to METROPOLIT to reflect that the debit order is for Metropolitan and the policy number for which the deduction was made. 
  • If you have multiple policies (funeral and endowments) you will see both METROPOLIT and AMETLIFE deductions on your account. 
  • Both of these are still correct and will ensure that your premiums received are accurately reflected on your policies. 
  • The change in reference number has no effect on the terms and conditions of your policy. 
I did not authorise a payment for METROPOLIT. Is this fraud on my account?
  • No, as of August 2020 your Metropolitan funeral policy reference number will change to METROPOLIT (plus your policy number) to reflect that the debit is for Metropolitan and the policy (or one of the funeral policies) for which you are paying. 
  • If you have multiple policies (funeral and endowments), you will see both METROPOLIT and AMETLIFE deductions on your account. 
  • Both of these are still correct and will ensure that your premiums received are accurately reflected against your policy/policies. 
  • The change in reference number has no effect on the terms and conditions of your policy. 
Can my deductions be combined again, like they were before?

Unfortunately, not now. We are working on a solution and will inform you as soon as this is possible.

How will I know if communication from Metropolitan is real or a scam?

Fraudsters use many different ways to access your personal information, like asking you to click on links in emails, SMSes and WhatsApp messages. 

Metropolitan will never send you any email or other communication asking you to update or provide confidential information about yourself or your account. 

Always be vigilant with any correspondence you receive and don’t click on links you receive via email, SMS or WhatsApp if you are not sure about the safety of the link. 

To read more about how we use your personal information, read our privacy notice here. 

Funeral Plan

Is there a waiting period, and why is it necessary?

Yes, waiting periods apply to each insured life covered on the plan. A waiting period is a period of time in which an insured life is not insured for some or all events.  The waiting period starts from the first day of the month in which Metropolitan receives your first premium.  Waiting periods differ and it is therefore important to understand the length of the waiting period that applies to your insurance. 

The reason for having waiting periods is that they make premiums more affordable for you. Waiting periods discourage people with life-threatening illnesses from signing up for life insurance and claiming benefits immediately. As a result of waiting periods, medical examinations are not necessary, and premiums are more affordable for everyone. 

Am I insured for anything during the waiting period?

When taking out a Metropolitan Funeral Plan, the insured lives are insured for accidental death during the waiting period. Insured lives are not insured for death due to natural causes during the waiting period. 

Are there any exclusions?

Exclusions refer to situations when Metropolitan will not pay any benefits. Situations that result in exclusions include: 

Suicide and self-inflicted injury 

  • No benefit is paid if death is as a result of suicide, within the first year of the plan start date or adding an insured life or a Payment Protection benefit on death of the plan owner.  
  • Every time cover is increased, there is a one-year exclusion period for suicide for the increased portion of the cover. If there is a suicide within the new one-year exclusion period, Metropolitan will pay a benefit equal to the previous cover level. 
  • No benefit is paid if an insured life becomes disabled as a result of self-inflicted injury (for example, if the insured life shoots himself and is disabled as a result), within the first year of adding an insured life or a Payment Protection benefit on disability of the plan owner. 
  • Every time cover is increased, there is a six-month exclusion period for disability as a result of self-inflicted injury for the increased portion of the cover. If there is a disability within the exclusion period, Metropolitan will pay a benefit equal to your previous cover level.

 

Accidents 

If any of the following contributed to an insured life dying in an accident, no benefit will be paid: 

  • drinking too much alcohol (any amount above the legal limit to drive a motor car is too much alcohol). 
  • having taken drugs. 
  • consumption of harmful substances. 
  • taking any medicine that was not prescribed by a doctor who is currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa; or 
  • taking more than the prescribed dosage of any medicine. 

If an insured life dies in an accident as a result of the insured life breaking the law, no benefit will be paid. 

 

Providing incorrect information 

  • The information contained in your application forms the basis of this plan. You must make sure that there is full and accurate disclosure of information concerning all insured lives that is relevant to Metropolitan’s assessment of the risks and premiums in respect of the application. 
  • Withholding or misrepresenting information that is material to Metropolitan’s decision on whether to offer benefit(s) to you or on what terms these benefits are offered to you, constitutes non-disclosure. Assistance by a financial adviser or another person in completing documentation does not change your duty to disclose the required information.  
  • If the non-disclosure was deliberate it will result in all premiums paid to Metropolitan being forfeited with no claim being paid. Metropolitan will follow guidelines to ensure consistent and fair treatment of non-disclosure at claims stage. If you gave any information that is not correct, you should correct it immediately. 

 

Committing fraud 

  • If you commit fraud or try to commit fraud, we will not pay your claim and we will not refund your premiums. 

 

The insured life passes away in another country 

  • If any insured life has been outside South Africa’s borders for more than 12 consecutive months immediately prior to their death, the cover under this plan ends. Metropolitan will not pay any benefits for this insured life. 

 

Residence outside of South Africa 

  • Each insured life must live in South Africa. Metropolitan may require proof of residence. 

 

When does my Metropolitan Funeral Plan end?

Your plan ends when: 

  • you tell us to cancel your plan. 
  • you pass away and: 
    - you do not have the Payment Protection benefit on death, or 
    - no one insured on the plan wants to continue with it.
  • all the insured lives have passed away.
  • your plan lapses. 

When your plan ends, all cover on this plan also comes to an end. 

Can I borrow any money on my plan?

You cannot borrow any money on this plan. You may not transfer this plan to another person. For example, you cannot take out a loan or credit at a bank and use this plan as security. 

Can I sell or transfer my plan?

You cannot sell your plan to Metropolitan or anyone else for cash. You may not transfer this plan to another person. For example, you cannot take out a loan or credit at a bank and use this plan as security. 

Life Cover

What do medical tests involve?

We only ask for medical tests on our FutureChoice Cover Options range. In addition to the questions we ask about your health in the application form, we also ask about your height and weight. Most plans require a negative HIV test result and a test for cotinine to confirm your smoking status. At times, depending on the benefits associated with the application and the client's answers to the health questions in the application, we may ask for medical tests. These tests, which could be a medical examination with your own or a specialist doctor, may include urine and other blood samples, and other relevant tests.  

Will my life cover pay out for Covid-19-related deaths?

Death because of Covid-19 is classified as a natural cause of death. If your plan provides cover for natural causes of death, the relevant waiting periods, and terms and conditions apply. If the waiting periods have passed, and terms and conditions are satisfied, then your life cover should pay out for a Covid-19-related death. 

What are the waiting periods?

Waiting periods only apply to the Metropolitan Life Cover Plan (MLCP). A waiting period is a time during which there is no cover for some or all events, even though you are paying. When a waiting period applies, medical tests are not necessary and payments are more affordable for everyone. Waiting periods also discourage people with life-threatening illnesses from signing up for life insurance and claiming benefits immediately. The waiting period starts on the plan start date or when you restart your plan, increase your cover level or add a benefit after the start date.  

Are there any exclusions?

Exclusions are conditions or situations when we will not pay out a plan benefit. Providing incorrect information or withholding important underwriting information when applying for cover, may result in a claim not being paid. We will not pay a benefit if a claim for death or disability of an insured life is the direct or indirect result of one of more of the following: 

  • A self-inflicted injury or suicide in the first two years of the plan start date, the date of a cover increase, or a plan restart date. 
  • Committing or attempting to commit fraud or breaking the law. 
  • Performing a dangerous occupation or taking part in a dangerous activity. 
  • Radioactivity or nuclear explosion.  
  • War and warlike operations, invasion, military uprising, terrorist activity, rebellion, mutiny, riot, civil uprising, or civil commotion. 
  • Consuming alcohol above the legal driving limit or intentional inhalation of fumes. 
  • Consuming drugs or narcotics except as prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner who is currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. 
  • On MLCP, a disability claim for a back or neck condition resulting in the inability to work, other than a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis. 

Disability Cover

What is disability and when can I claim?

Disability covers a permanent injury or illness after which you cannot do your own job or another job you may reasonably be able to do. We consider your education, experience and ability, with or without further training. 

Is Covid-19 covered under Disability Cover?

We will consider a disability claim if you suffer a permanent injury or illness as a result of Covid-19, provided the conditions of this injury or illness meet the requirements and waiting period we specify. 

Does the Disability Plan cover debt?

If you are no longer able to work, your disability cover may provide you with money to: 

  • Replace your lost income. 
  • Ensure that you can maintain your current standard of living. 
  • Help you meet the expenses of recovery or rehabilitation. 
  • Finance special equipment, building needs and any other changes you may need to adjust your lifestyle. 
  • Pay off loans (property and vehicle) and other outstanding debt, like clothing accounts, credit card accounts, and more. 
Is there a waiting period before the Disability Benefit pays out?

You must wait six months from the day your disability starts before we would consider your claim for a permanent condition.

Are there any exclusions?

Exclusions are conditions or situations when we will not pay out a plan benefit. Providing incorrect information or withholding important underwriting information when applying for cover, may result in a claim not being paid. We will not pay a benefit if a claim for death or disability of an insured life is the direct or indirect result of one of more of the following:  

  • A self-inflicted injury or suicide in the first two years of the plan start date, the date of a cover increase, or a plan restart date.  
  • Committing or attempting to commit fraud or breaking the law.  
  • Performing a dangerous occupation or taking part in a dangerous activity.  
  • Radioactivity or nuclear explosion.   
  • War and warlike operations, invasion, military uprising, terrorist activity, rebellion, mutiny, riot, civil uprising, or civil commotion.  
  • Consuming alcohol above the legal driving limit or intentional inhalation of fumes.  
  • Consuming drugs or narcotics except as prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner who is currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.  
  • On MLCP, a disability claim for a back or neck condition resulting in the inability to work, other than a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis.  

Critical Illness Cover

Do you cover pre-existing conditions?

It is extremely important that you are honest and tell us the truth when you apply for cover. You must share information relating to your health and any specific conditions you may have when you apply. If your application reveals that you have a health problem, we may need more information and could ask for medical tests to determine how serious it is, and if there’s a higher risk of your becoming critically ill or dying sooner than expected. The outcome of these tests means we may increase your payment or limit the cover we can offer. If the risk is too high, we may decide not to cover that specific condition, or in severe cases, we may decide not to accept your application at all. 

However, if you do not share all your health information with us, and we find out you were aware of a health condition at the start date, we can cancel your plan, not pay a claim and you may lose all the payments you made. 

You will have cover for a chronic or other illness if you:  

  • Were not diagnosed with such an illness or condition before; or 
  • Did not know you had such an illness or condition when you applied for cover; and 
  • Are diagnosed at a later stage during the plan term. 
Can I get Critical Illness Cover for me and my family?

Critical Illness Cover applies to a single life only. If your family members are 18 years and older, they may apply for cover on their own plan. 

Is Covid-19 covered under Critical Illness Cover?

Covid-19 is not one of the illnesses we cover under a Critical Illness plan. See the list of illnesses, diseases, and conditions we cover below.

What 4 illness are covered by the Critical Illness Core plan?

The full amount under this benefit or plan pays out if you submit a valid claim because of one of these below conditions. The assessment of a critical illness is complex and does not depend on these explanations only.

The Critical Illness (Core) benefit covers only 4 conditions:  

  1. Cancer: when normal cells in your body grow faster than they should and cause harm to your body.  
  2. Coronary artery / bypass surgery: surgery to restore blood flow to your heart by by-passing a blocked artery in your heart. 
  3. Heart attack (Myocardial infarction): when part of your heart muscle dies because of a lack of blood. 
  4. Stroke: when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or bleeding occurs in your brain, causing damage. 
What 12 illness are included in the Critical Illness Comprehensive plan?

The full amount under this benefit or plan pays out if you submit a valid claim because of one of these conditions.

The Critical Illness (Comprehensive) benefit covers:
  • The 4 illnesses under the Critical Illness Core benefit. The full cover amount pays out when you submit a valid claim. 
  • Plus 12 other illnesses, but only part of core amount pays out when you submit a valid claim.  
The assessment of a critical illness is complex and does not depend on these explanations only.
  1. Accidental HIV: when you get HIV from a blood transfusion, exposure to blood or bodily fluids during physical assault, medical or dental procedures, or at work because of an accident while on duty in a recognised occupation that is covered or physical assault. 
  2. AIDS: This is a collection of symptoms you get after you are infected with HIV. The virus damages your immune system and your body cannot fight off disease. 
  3. Alzheimer’s disease: A permanent and gradual worsening of memory and rational and logical competence over a period. 
  4. Aorta graft surgery: Surgery to remove and replace a part of your thoracic or abdominal aorta if it becomes narrow or weakened. The aorta is the main artery of the body. It supplies blood and oxygen to other arteries. 
  5. Benign brain tumour: A life-threatening tumour in your brain that causes permanent brain damage or dysfunction. 
  6. Coma: When you are unconscious for a long time, do not react to anything and need help to stay alive. 
  7. End stage organ failure:  
    - Heart failure: This happens when your heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs for blood and oxygen. 
    - Renal (kidney) failure: When both your kidneys stop working altogether. 
    - Respiratory failure: End-stage lung disease that causes respiratory (breathing) failure because the level of oxygen in your blood is too low or the level of carbon dioxide becomes too high. 
    - Liver failure: Permanent and irreversible failure of your liver function. 
  8. Major organ transplant: When you undergo a transplant of a human donor heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, or bone marrow. Serious disease or injury can damage the heart, lungs, liver or pancreas. The only form of treatment may be to replace the organ. 
  9. Motor neuron disease: This affects or destroys the motor neurons in the brain. These are the cells that control vital voluntary muscle activity like speaking, walking, breathing and swallowing. 
  10. Multiple sclerosis: Is a disease where patches of inflammation occur in parts of the brain and spinal cord causing damage to the brain. Even with the best treatment, you are not expected to recover. 
  11. Muscular dystrophy: This disorder weakens your muscles over time and you gradually lose the ability to do everyday tasks. 
  12. Parkinson’s disease: Parkinson’s involves the break down and death of nerve cells in the brain. It affects your voluntary movement and coordination and gradually gets worse over time. 
What are the exclusions for Critical Illness Cover?

The list of exclusions for Life Cover also apply to Critical Illness Cover. Besides these exclusions, there are specific and complex exclusions that apply to each critical illness. Please speak to one of our financial advisers or our service centre for more information. 

HealthCare Cashback

Do I need a hospital healthcare plan if I have medical aid?

Our healthcare plan is not a medical aid. It covers expenses related to a hospital stay, or the inability to work and get an income, but does not cover medical bills. 

Must I do medical tests?

We do not ask for medical tests when you apply for this plan, but we apply waiting periods. A waiting period is a time during which there is no cover for some or all events, even though you are paying. When a waiting period applies, medical tests are not necessary, and payments are more affordable for everyone. Waiting periods also discourage people with serious illnesses from signing up for HealthCare CashBack Cover and claiming benefits immediately. The waiting period starts on the plan start date or when you restart your plan, increase your cover level or add a benefit after the start date. A waiting period does not apply to the accident benefit, but a different waiting period applies to the other benefits. The waiting period also applies to each insured life on the plan. 

Does this plan cover a Covid-19 hospital stays and expenses?

Payout of benefits under this plan does not depend on the reason you spend time in hospital. If your hospital stay meets the requirements and conditions of our healthcare plan, we will pay out the relevant benefits you choose.

Are there any exclusions?

The list of exclusions for Life Cover also apply to HealthCare CashBack Cover. Besides these exclusions, there are specific exclusions that apply to this plan. Please speak to one of our financial advisers or our service centre for more information. 

Savings Plans

How is the new Metropolitan Savings Plan different from other tax-free plans out in the market?

The Metropolitan Savings Plan combines a long-term tax-free savings plan with a short-term money market savings plan. This protects your long-term savings because it gives you a short-term savings pocket which you can access in case of emergency.  

Our digital app consists of an easy-to-use planning and advice component that allows you to plan for your individual goals within your unique circumstances. 

What is Automatic Inflation Management (AIM)?

Our Automatic Inflation Management (AIM) benefit helps protect your policy against inflation by increasing your premium and cover each year. You can choose to increase your premium yearly between 5-10% to protect your savings against inflation.

What is the Smooth Bonus Fund?

The Smooth Bonus Fund is an investment portfolio that aims to provide market-related and inflation-beating returns over the long term, without the ups and downs that the stock market often displays in the short term. Metropolitan makes yearly bonus declarations to smooth investment returns. 

What is an endowment plan?

An endowment plan is essentially a life insurance policy which, apart from covering the life of the insured, helps the policyholder save regularly over a specific period of time so that he/she is able to get a lump sum amount on the policy maturity in case he/she survives the policy term. This maturity amount can be used to meet various financial needs, such as funding one's retirement, children's education and/or buying a house. 

Endowment plans fulfil the dual need for a life cover and savings plan under one single plan. Endowments are one of the traditional forms of life insurance plans available. 

Investment Plans

What is the Smooth Bonus Fund?

The Smooth Bonus Fund is an investment portfolio that aims to provide market-related and inflation-beating returns over the long term, without the ups and downs that the stock market often displays in the short term. Metropolitan makes yearly bonus declarations to smooth investment returns.

How does the Wealth Maximiser work?

With this solution, we guarantee the payout amount you will get after five years. We invest your single cash amount of at least R100 000 in our Smooth Bonus Fund so that your money enjoys stable growth. 

  • We pay all your money into this investment fund. 
  • You get a special maturity bonus of 2% of the capital when you invest R1 Million or more. 
  • You get an extra bonus of 0.5% yearly of the investment for each year that you keep your money invested with Metropolitan after the five-year term ends. 
  • If you pass away before the end of the investment period, we take off no other charges from your investment amount, apart from the commission that we pay to your financial adviser on your behalf. 

Income Plans

How will my income from these plans be taxed?

A part of the income you get is made up of capital (the money you invested) and part of it is interest. You only pay income tax on the interest part of the income payment. We take off the tax amount from each regular income payment before we pay it to you. 

For tax purposes, we use the income tax rate for the income you get from this plan as if it’s your only income. If you have any other income, your income tax rate could be higher. You’re responsible to pay the difference between the amount we took off and the actual income tax rate you should pay.

Can I withdraw money from this plan?

You can withdraw part of or all the money from these plans. Limits may apply.

How does the Income Boost on the Capital Preservation Income option work?

This benefit either lets you keep the money you secure at the same level, or you can lower the amount over time. Each option has an effect on the level of your regular income payment.  

You may choose one of three options: 

  1. No income boost  - The money you choose to secure for your beneficiaries stays the same and your income stays the same.  
  2. Phased income boost - We lower the amount of money you want to secure for your beneficiaries by 10% every five years. At the same time, we increase your income. 
  3. Immediate income boost - We lower the amount of money you secure for your beneficiaries by 10% every five years. Instead of increasing your income every five years only, we immediately give you a higher income level from the start.  

Retirement Savings

What is the South African retirement age?

The minimum retirement age is 55. Generally, South Africans retire between the ages of 55 and 65. As people are living longer, they're retiring later to ensure they build up enough retirement savings to last them for the rest of their life.  

What is the Smooth Bonus Fund?

The Smooth Bonus Fund is an investment portfolio that aims to provide market-related and inflation-beating returns over the long term, without the ups and downs that the stock market often displays in the short term. Metropolitan makes yearly bonus declarations to smooth investment returns. 

How will my retirement savings plan get taxed?

Your payments toward retirement savings grow tax-free in a retirement fund. These payments are also tax-deductible up to certain limits, thereby reducing your taxable income, which means you benefit from paying less tax every year. 

What is the difference between a retirement annuity, a pension fund and a provident fund?

A retirement annuity is your own personal savings plan that you invest in to save for your retirement. At retirement, you can access up to one-third of your savings in cash, but the remaining two-thirds must be used to buy an income plan to ensure you have an income at retirement. 

A pension fund is an employer-sponsored retirement fund where regular contributions (usually monthly) are made by you and your employer. At retirement, you can access up to one-third of your savings in cash, but the remaining two-thirds must be used to buy an income plan to ensure you have an income at retirement. 

 
GEPF Pension Fund

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is an employer-sponsored pension fund where the individual's benefits on retirement are based on the rules of the fund, typically linked to the number of years of employment. 

 

A provident fund

This allows you and your employer to contribute monthly towards your retirement savings; the difference here is that when you resign or retire, you can take the entire savings amount as cash. You don't need to purchase an income plan, but you will be taxed on the cash payout based on the lump sum (a single payment) tax table. 

What is the difference at retirement between a pension and provident fund?

When a pension fund member retires and the retirement proceeds are more than R247 500, the member may only receive one-third of the proceeds as a single cash payout and the other two-thirds is paid out in the form of a pension/income over the rest of the member's life. If the retirement proceeds are less than R247500, the member may take it all in cash.  

A provident fund member can elect to receive all of the retirement proceeds as calculated on 1 March 2021 (plus the growth), as a single cash payout. Any additional contributions (plus growth) after 1 March 2021 will be treated the same as a pension fund. 

What happens to my retirement savings if I leave my job and don’t have a preservation fund?

If you resign, or you are retrenched, you are allowed to withdraw from your employer-sponsored retirement fund (that is a pension or provident fund) but are subject to tax. However, should you wish to rather preserve your retirement savings, you can consult with your financial adviser to transfer your retirement savings to a preservation fund with any administrator. You will be allowed to make one withdrawal before you retire. 

Preservation Plans

What happens to my retirement savings if I leave my job and don’t have a preservation plan?

You can keep your retirement savings invested in your employer's pension or provident fund if the fund allows it. You can also invest your retirement savings in Metropolitan's retirement annuity. Unlike a preservation plan, a retirement annuity allows you to add voluntary contributions in addition to your pension or provident savings. However, you'll have more flexibility with a preservation plan since you cannot withdraw from a retirement annuity, pension or provident fund in the case of an emergency. 

What is the South African retirement age?

The minimum retirement age is 55. Generally, South Africans retire between the ages of 55 and 65. As people are living longer, they're retiring later to ensure they build up enough retirement savings to last them for the rest of their life.  

What is the difference between a pension preservation plan and a provident preservation plan when yo

Before 1 March 2021

With a pension preservation plan you can access up to 1/3rd of your retirement savings in cash when you retire if your fund value is above R247 500. The remaining 2/3rds must be used to buy a retirement income annuity to ensure you have an income when you retire. 

With the provident preservation plan you could access your full retirement savings amount as cash, regardless of the amount, when you retired. You were not forced to buy a retirement income annuity with your retirement savings, even though it’s always wise to do so. 

 

From 1 March 2021 

There is no longer a difference between a pension preservation plan and a provident preservation plan. New legislation requires that at least 2/3rds of your retirement savings from a provident preservation plan must now also be used to buy a retirement income annuity when you retire. The same rules now apply for a provident preservation plan as for a pension preservation plan. 

 

Tell me more...

From 1 March 2021, provident and provident preservation funds will be split into two parts: vested and non-vested benefits. 

Vested benefits are benefits you'll be able to access as cash when you retire, regardless of the amount that you've built up. These benefits do not have to be annuitised and include:  

  • all contributions received on a provident fund plus growth up to 28/02/2021 and thereafter, and 
  • the value of a provident preservation fund as of 28/02/2021 plus growth thereafter. 

Non-vested benefits are benefits you’ll have to annuitise, depending on the accumulated amount, when you retire. These benefits include: 

  • all contributions received on a provident fund from 01/03/2021 plus growth, 
  • contributions to a provident preservation fund from 01/03/2021 that are not vested benefits, plus growth thereafter on such contributions. 

If you are a member of a provident and provident preservation fund, you will be required to buy a retirement income annuity with non-vested benefits from 1 March 2021 with the following exception: 

  • If you as a member of a provident fund are 55 years or older as oft 1 March 2021, and you stay in that same provident fund until you retire, there will be no need to keep separate records of vested and non-vested benefits for you as you will be entitled to your full benefit as cash (including contributions post 1 March 2021) upon retirement.

 

Can I add money to a preservation plan?

A preservation plan is dedicated to one specific source of retirement savings (for example your previous employer's pension fund). But you can invest any extra amount that comes from that same source into your preservation plan as one big amount.  

You can only invest retirement-specific money in a preservation plan (also referred to as compulsory money that comes from a retirement fund).  

You can have as many preservation plans with Metropolitan as you need - one per source of retirement savings. 

Do I pay tax when I transfer my retirement savings into a preservation plan?

No, the transfer of your retirement savings from a pension fund or provident fund into a preservation plan is tax-free. The growth on your investment is also tax-free. 

How much can I withdraw from my preservation plan before I retire?

You can make one partial or full pre-retirement withdrawal of any amount which will be taxed. You are only allowed one such withdrawal per source benefit whilst in a preservation plan, regardless of transfers. In other words, if you already made a withdrawal from your pension or provident savings whilst it was in a previous preservation plan, you won't be allowed a second withdrawal after transferring the balance to the Metropolitan Preservation Plan or any other preservation plan. 

If you haven't made use of your one withdrawal benefit by retirement age (as specified in the rules of your retirement fund), you will forfeit it and will no longer be able to access your retirement benefit before you retire. 

Retirement Income Plans

How much tax will I pay on my retirement income?

All the regular payments you receive will be treated as an income and taxed according to the most recent SARS income tax tables. 

Can I invest other money into my Retirement Income Plan or must it come from a retirement plan?

An existing retirement income plan can be topped-up with additional money from the same retirement fund. Money from other sources, like personal savings or inheritances, should be invested in a separate retirement income plan. 

Can I use retirement savings from different retirement annuities, pension funds, provident funds, an

Yes. 

Can I make changes to my retirement income plan after it has started?

Besides the review of the annual income amount on living annuities, no changes can be made to the retirement income plan. Alternatively, a living annuity can be converted to a life annuity at any point.