July 7, 2024

New ‘Two-Pot’ System Law: What it Means for You

Two-Pot System - Debtline

On June 1, 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill of 2023 into law, introducing a revolutionary two-pot system. This progressive legislation, set to take effect on September 1, 2024, is designed to cater to the dual needs of long-term financial security and immediate access to funds in times of financial distress, offering a brighter financial future for all South Africans. 

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But what are the implications, and what does this mean for South Africans? This brief explores the key aspects of the new law, its benefits and drawbacks, and essential considerations for South Africans looking to navigate this new retirement system effectively.

Understanding The Two-Pot System

The two-pot system splits retirement savings into two distinct pots: a savings pot and a retirement pot. Contributions made after September 1, 2024, will be divided between these pots, while existing retirement benefits remain in a vested pot. The savings pot allows for withdrawals during financial emergencies, while the retirement pot is preserved for post-retirement needs.

Here are some key points to consider under the new system:

  • Seeding Capital and Withdrawal Limits: On August 31, 2024, 10% of the value of your existing retirement fund, or R30,000 (whichever is lower), will be allocated to your savings pot as seeding capital. Only one withdrawal per policy per tax year is permitted, with a minimum withdrawal of R2,000.
  • Tax Implications: Withdrawals from the savings pot are subject to your marginal tax rate. The fund administrator must apply for a tax directive from SARS to deduct any outstanding tax debts from your withdrawal.
  • Multiple Policies & Long-Term Planning: You can withdraw annually from each policy you hold, incentivising a diverse policy portfolio. Frequent withdrawals can deplete your retirement savings, so planning carefully and prioritising genuine financial emergencies is crucial.

Engaging with a financial advisor to successfully navigate the complexities of the two-pot system is crucial. Professional guidance will help you avoid pitfalls and develop a personalised and comprehensive strategy to secure a financial future, giving you the confidence to make the right financial decisions.

Avoid the Pitfalls of the Two-Pot System

To help you steer clear of potential pitfalls, here are 4 aspects to consider before utilising the new two-pot system:

  1. Budgeting and Planning: Establish a detailed budget that accounts for both immediate and long-term financial needs. Clearly define what constitutes a genuine emergency to avoid impulsive withdrawals.
  2. Exploring Alternative Savings Options: Consider high-interest savings accounts, fixed deposits, and investment accounts to diversify your savings and avoid over-reliance on the savings pot. Establish an emergency fund big enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.

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  1. Insurance Policies: Frequent or large withdrawals can significantly impact long-term financial security. Invest in comprehensive insurance policies (health, home, car) to cover unexpected expenses without dipping into your retirement savings.
  2. Engaging with Financial Advisors: Without disciplined financial planning, you risk depleting your savings on non-essential items. Regularly consult your financial advisor to stay informed about the best strategies for managing your retirement savings under the new system. 

Before withdrawing, South Africans must carefully consider the tax implications, potential risks, and the need for disciplined financial planning. This responsible approach will ensure that you remain in control of your financial decisions and maintain the security of your retirement savings. 

President Ramaphosa’s Vision

The new two-pot system offers a balanced retirement savings approach, providing immediate financial relief and long-term security. President Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of this new system, stating: 

“While we are continuing the task of growing our economy to create more opportunities for all South Africans and reduce the financial vulnerability affecting many individuals and households, the new retirement system offers protection and dignity to those who need it the most to overcome financial stress.”

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Individuals can effectively navigate this new system by consulting with financial advisors, exploring alternative savings options, and ensuring current and future financial stability.

How Debtline Can Help

Debtline is committed to helping South Africans navigate the complexities of debt and financial planning. Whether you need assistance with debt review, consolidation, or understanding the debt review process, our experienced advisors are here to provide support and guidance. 

We offer tailored solutions to help you achieve financial stability and security. Fill out the form for a free callback to contact Debtline today. We can assist you in managing your finances effectively under the new two-pot system.