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The investment landscape has changed profoundly over the past decade, making it easier than ever for individuals to take control of their own investment portfolios. It’s a simple matter for nearly anyone to trade shares via their online banking platform, for example, or to access a range of funds and products from an online stockbroker or wealth management firm.
It may surprise many employers to realise that there are currently no legal obligations placed on employers to give an employee any retirement benefits, and very often the employee is left to make his own arrangements.
South Africans are well-known for their participation in stokvel saving schemes where members contribute a fixed monthly amount that is paid out to a specific member on a specified date. Employers can integrate these payments into existing processes to make it safer and more convenient for those members.
Expected changes to the income tax laws in March 2019 will allow members who emigrate before they reach retirement date more flexibility to withdraw their retirement funds when they leave the country.
Commercial property forms an important part of the investable asset universe. Although dependent on relevance of location and the property assets in question, commercial property offers stable growth and income returns coupled with a reasonable level of inflation protection.
Despite the tax benefits on retirement contributions and the tax free growth, the fact that pension income benefits are ultimately taxed has led people to question whether saving in a retirement fund really is better than making your own retirement savings arrangements with after-tax earnings.