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Bad News for Unions as South Africa Plans Limited Early Access to Retirement Funds

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Unions have always advocated for the right of their members to access their retirement funds early as the need arise. However a planned overhaul of South Africa’s retirement-fund rules is about to change that. The  main aim of the new rule is  encouraging people to save more and will provide very limited scope for them to access their pensions early, a senior National Treasury official said.

The reforms have been on the agenda for almost a decade, but gained momentum after the coronavirus pandemic upended the economy and pushed the unemployment rate to a record high. That’s led to mounting calls on the government to make retirement provisions more readily accessible — a step that could have dire socio-economic consequences if mishandled and pensions are frittered away.

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