South Africa’s New Retirement System

Ismail Momoniat, the Treasury’s head of tax and financial sector policy, has revealed that the government is in discussions to present another retirement framework that will permit individuals to access a portion of their savings early.

Momoniat spoke in parliament’s standing finance committee on Tuesday the 24th of August, revealing that the Treasury is currently close to concurring on the new arrangement, with talks with unions and retirement funds being continuous. This framework will allow restricted withdrawals but still allow fund conservation and guarantee that individuals have enough money for their retirement.

Momoniat portrayed the new retirement plan as a ‘two pot’ framework:

  • The primary pot for longer-term financial security – Individuals should protect their contributions and the invested compounded growth. They won’t have access to this part of their assets until their retirement.
  • The subsequent pot for short-term financial relief – Individuals can access the fund value only for emergencies even while still employed and a member of the fund.

Momoniat provided an example of roughly 10 percent to 33 percent of the savings being available ahead of retirement, with the remainder of the money continuing to be put aside for retirement.

According to Momoniat, when it’s developed a bit of money, the subsequent pot will be a type of tax-exempt saving, where following 3 or 5 years, individuals can begin withdrawing the funds. That said, setting up that framework will require a significant rebuilding of the current tax framework.

Momoniat seems sure that the Treasury will deliver a bill explaining the new framework for input by the October Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). With that will be a recommendation that any employed individual should set aside money (as a component of) an arrangement of auto-enrolment. Many individuals who are employed still don’t contribute towards a retirement fund. So the government wants to have a type of auto-enlistment, which may later turn into a compulsory reservation.

Momoniat ensured that this would apply to individuals who earn wages and contract workers, like Uber drivers, who will be given significantly more coverage under this new framework. Momoniat also went further to add that the Treasury would likewise tighten the guidelines that permit individuals to withdraw the entirety of their funds when they retire.

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