SOUTH AFRICA - Specific reforms of South African pension fund legislation are to be implemented "without further delay," the National Treasury of South Africa announced.
In medium term budget policy statement 2006, the treasury said the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill would now allow former members of retirement funds to preserve the additional benefits, granted to them by the Pension Funds Amendment Act 2001.
A proposed amendment to the Income Tax Act would also see members of retirement annuity funds receiving benefits prior to the age of 55. Currently, the bill states no benefits can be paid out before this age.
Butthe treasury said that caused problems when the value of a member's interest was very low and the costs over time - including administration and asset management - exceeded the growth in assets.
To solve this discrepancy, the treasury proposed allowing the value of the interest to be paid out if the benefit was less than a certain amount - to be determined by finance minister Trevor Manuel.
The Centre for Social Justice is calling for the state pension age to be raised to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2035, a much faster rise than currently planned.
The High Court has blocked the £12bn transfer of Prudential's annuity book to Rothesay Life, citing the insurer's lack of "established reputation" and differing "capital management policies".
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