Getting to the bottom of things

Teamwork, professionalism and dedication

11 December 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg



Lucas Tshuuya, an investigator at the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), ensures a robust system of investigations to trace beneficiaries and ensure that death benefits are paid out timeously and to the rightful beneficiaries.

Tshuuya, who has been an investigator for GIPF since 2015, says his role involves the investigation of all submitted death benefit claims before they are processed, along with any additional matters.

“This is done with a purpose to remove any uncertainties or ambiguities identified by relevant stakeholders such as benefit administrators, annuity administrators, client services consultants and regional based officers before payments are made to deserving beneficiaries,” says Tshuuya.

Other activities in this role involve investigating the parental status of children with full birth certificates with discrepancies or omissions, liaising with several ministries for verification of the authenticity of birth, death and marriage certificates and coordinating DNA testing with certain laboratories in predicaments where paternity cannot be proven with documentation.

Tshuuya also needs to determine the level of dependency to the deceased members and investigate alleged cohabitation of persons who were not officially married to the deceased members. As an investigator he becomes the eyes and ears of the board of trustees and assists them to execute their discretions when distributing death benefits to beneficiaries equitably. He further ensures the data integrity of information in the fund’s possession and ensures they are reliable and accurate.

Tshuuya says despite the many challenges associated with the role of an investigator, he continues to work hard and stay motivated.

“Lack of co-operation from certain beneficiaries or relatives of the deceased members due to disputes that always arise after the death of the member, misinformation supplied by family members with a purpose to defraud the fund and language barriers are just some of the challenges I face daily.”

In his personal life, Tshuuya is a devoted family man who balances his work and family time effectively.

“Sometimes I travel outside my work at irregular hours but ultimately, I ensure that I play my role as a father, twin brother and husband to the best of my abilities. I strive to always instil a culture of hard work, honesty and respect in my son and two daughters. In my spare time I enjoy reading, playing soccer, engaging in a good debating session and travelling,” Tshuuya says.

“I would like to contribute towards the investigation of benefit claim processes in the future by introducing the latest technology such as forensic means of identification of beneficiaries, detection of fraudulent claims, ensuring that our systems are robust and that our trustees would be at ease when approving death benefits claims without fear, favor or prejudice. My desire is to see the GIPF Investigators pacing as trendsetters in the industry.”

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