Retirement fund access: Treasury aims to finalise framework by end of year

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that he was determined to ensure that officials at Treasury fast-tracked the process to ensure that workers could access portions of their retirement funds.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Budget speech in Parliament on 24 February 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury said that it would finalise the framework for workers to have access to a percentage of their retirement funds by the end of this year.

The measure is aimed at helping workers during the difficult economic conditions in the country.

However, Treasury has also warned that if this process was not carried out carefully and in a limited manner, the programme could have adverse effects on the economy.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that he was determined to ensure that officials at Treasury fast-tracked the process to ensure that workers could access portions of their retirement funds. However, he said that this should not be viewed as a vanity project.

“It is not that the government is being a nanny state trying to tell you what to do. It's a burden-sharing thing that, going forward, one should think about. We also don't want to burden the state because when we're working, we can make provision for later when we retire, I think. So to access your pension fund today and you go and buy a car that you might crash tomorrow is also not helpful,” he said.

National Treasury Deputy Director-General Ismail Momoniat said that the matter was complex and required care.

“If we don't watch it, there'll be a rush to the door, and will create liquidity problems, and that's why what we've said is firstly is going to be a very limited window of access under very specific circumstances,” Momoniat said.

Legislation will have to be formulated and passed before the intervention is implemented.

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