We all know the rules of retirement savings in South Africa – that is, you need to keep it in your retirement fund until the day you retire. And of course, at this time, you can usually take one third of your retirement fund as a lump sum, while the rest is paid to you in monthly instalments.
But what if you’re a South African expat? Surely you are entitled to moving your savings offshore once you’ve moved abroad? Well, you are 100% correct. As a South African emigrant you are entitled to transferring the full amount of your retirement annuity or pension offshore before retirement.
Transferring your retirement savings offshore
If you’ve relocated abroad, you have the full right to transfer your retirement savings offshore before retirement. You can transfer your pension, provident or preservation funds without financial emigration, but you will need to apply for financial emigration in order to transfer your retirement annuity.
What is financial emigration?
Financial emigration is the process of changing your financial residency status to non-resident for exchange control purposes. It doesn’t affect your South African citizenship, passport privileges or birthright.
What do you need to emigrate financially?
When handled by a professional, financial migration is a simple task. However, you need to have a few things in order to complete the process smoothly and fast. These are
- A South African ID or smart card
- Proof that you will be a permanent resident in your new country
- Tax certification from SARS
- Reserve Bank approval
- Appropriate audit trail of all amounts to be repatriated
What can you transfer?
- Retirement annuity proceeds
- South African source inheritance
- Proceeds from assets declared in the emigration application form
- Passive income from SA investments
- Proceeds from trusts and third party life policies
Why you should consider financial emigration?
The financial freedom associated with the migration of wealth is the most alluring reason why you should take the step – once completed there’s no need to go through a complicated exchange control process ever again.
How to get started
When preparing for financial emigration, you don’t need to know all the detail, but it’s important to understand why you are going through the process and what benefits are available to you. Finglobal.com offers a free financial assessment with a complete financial migration journey based on your individual portfolio and needs.
If you require more information on financial emigration or assistance with transferring your funds abroad, simply leave your details and we’ll call you.