What you said: You should be allowed to access a portion of your pension to help pay off debts

31 July 2021 - 10:00 By kyle zeeman
Treasury is considering allowing those who lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic to withdraw from their retirement funds.
Treasury is considering allowing those who lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic to withdraw from their retirement funds.
Image: 123RF/LEON SWART

Readers have weighed in on the government's proposal to allow pension fund members to access a portion of their savings to help them keep their heads above water amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni said this week that Treasury was in talks to allow those who lost their income during the Covid-19 pandemic to withdraw from their retirement funds.

“National Treasury is in discussions with Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council) on a proposal for limited withdrawals from retirement funds for those losing part of their income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Government continues to engage with trade unions, regulators and other stakeholders to discuss how to allow limited withdrawals linked to tightening preservation by closing current loopholes, and also to expand coverage so that all those employed or earning an income are required to put aside a small proportion for saving for their future,” he said.

TimesLIVE ran a poll this week asking readers if people should be allowed to access a portion of their savings to help pay off debt.

Seventy-four percent said they need the money now or they might not make retirement age, while 14% said they did not want to risk living in poverty in their old age.

Twelve percent said people should be able to pay off their debts without dipping into their pension.

On social media, Siaruli Rofhiwa Erick said: “If conditions are sound, yes, but if it will be treated with heavy tax hand like that of early pension, no.”

Duime van Schalkwyk said it would “be a big mistake”, while Tjaart van der Walt said “No”.


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