When you’re looking into leaving South Africa, it’s highly likely you’re going to want to take your finances with you. While this can sometimes be a complicated process depending on your South African assets, wrapping up your finances is normally easy enough, and can simplify your financial future once you’re abroad.
Whether you’re planning to emigrate, or you’ve flown the coop already, it’s possible for you to complete a process called financial emigration
. You’ll then be seen as a non-resident of South African by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Don’t panic, this is for Exchange Control purposes only, and you’ll still hold your South African citizenship, birthright and passport.
So why would you want to financially emigrate, if you’re moving overseas? Financial emigration means that you become eligible to cash in your retirement annuity; something you generally can’t do in South Africa before you reach your retirement date, which is usually the age of 55. The money you’ve stashed for your golden years could come in handy when starting a new life, right?
Cash in on your retirement annuity as an expat.
It’s for good reason that your access to your retirement annuity in South Africa are limited while you’re a resident. Investing in your golden years requires dedication and commitment and takes time, and the fruits of your labours should be enjoyed only once you’ve reached retirement age, not before.
However, all of this change once you have formalised your financial emigration. Once you’re officially an expat, early withdrawal is your next step, which allows you to access and transfer your retirement annuity funds abroad.
What are the rules around retirement annuity funds in South Africa?
The Income Tax Act says that there are only two circumstances under which an early withdrawal is possible. If you want to go the early withdrawal route and gain access to the full value of your retirement annuity before the age of 55, you must either financially emigrate, or if you are a non-resident your South African residency or employment visa must have formally expired.
So, what happens if you’ve already left South Africa without recording your financial emigration? Don’t fret. It’s still possible to financially emigrate, as long as you meet all the necessary administrative requirements.
Let’s talk finances and how to move them.
Moving money abroad can get complicated, especially because it’s an actual criminal offense if you don’t follow the rules to the letter. So when you decide to make that move, remember that FinGlobal is a registered financial services provider, a proud partner of Bidvest Financial Services and fully compliant with all SARB and SARS regulations.
We’ll help you jump through all the right hoops to cash in your retirement funds and move your money where you want it. Get in touch today to find out how easy we can make your financial emigration