The retirement reform process might not be closely tied to the main role of the budget — it concerns personal and not national savings. But this year’s budget coincides almost exactly with the introduction on March 1 of default portfolios. It won’t now be necessary to shop around for an annuity, or to go through the difficult process of picking funds in which to invest. These will be available in each and every retirement fund. So it won’t be necessary to apply for a section 14 transfer to take the money out. And it saves the expense of paying for advice on your pension. The government had hoped to introduce a comprehensive social security (national retirement) fund in 2010. Fiona Rollason, head of legal services at Alexander Forbes, says that by now everyone was supposed to be contributing a portion of his or her retirement contributions to the National Savings Fund. But when leadership of the project moved from the National Treasury to the department of social security it became o...

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