Parliament approves two-pot retirement system

South African lawmakers on Wednesday backed a bill reforming the country’s pension laws to allow members to withdraw as much as a third of their savings before retirement.

The Pension Funds Amendment Bill will, from September, require that funds be divided into three components or “pots,” split between savings, retirement and a vested portion.

It will also allow members to transfer or withdraw savings in the event they change or lose their job. Fund members can choose if they want to opt into the new system.

“In times of dire financial distress, members of pension or provident funds tend to terminate their employment in order to access their retirement savings,” Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo told lawmakers in Cape Town.

He cautioned that the withdrawal of retirement savings would be subject to tax. 

The bill, which all political parties supported, will now go to Parliament’s second house, the National Council Of Provinces, for consideration. If they back it, the bill will proceed to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law.


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