To emigrate from South Africa is demanding – the administration and organisation is a huge and laborious task. So it’s not surprising that most South Africans who get the OK simply want to settle in their new homes and get the administration done.

But what about your policies that you have left behind in South Africa? Have you cancelled those policies that you no longer benefit from, applied for new coverage overseas and transferred the proceeds of your retirement funds? All these are important questions for an emigrant.

South African policies – what to do after emigration

You have several options when moving abroad and can facilitate the administrative processes for you. However, how and when you transfer your funds will depend on your individual portfolio and financial needs.

Our policy services include the following:

  • financial planning in your new country;
  • transfer of retirement annuities, preservation funds and similar pension funds;
  • transfer of other insurance products with an investment value;
  • complete solutions for financial emigration and transfer of the proceeds of retirement annuities, regardless of your age;
  • acquisition and submission of claims and other administrative documents to insurers, SARS, SARB and other banking institutions;
  • tax refunds and exemptions related to transfer of certain policies;
  • tracking down of pension at former employers and fund administrators;
  • cancellation of sessions;
  • change of debit orders for retained policies;
  • change of legal ownership of unit trust investments;
  • appointment, change or contact of beneficiaries on insurance policies; and
  • death claims and will services.

Types of policies and options

Depending on the kind of policies that you have, the following options are available.

Retirement annuities

  • What it is: A tax-effective way to save for retirement where members contribute monthly payments to a dedicated investment portfolio. The standard retirement age for these funds is 55.
  • What you can do: Retirement annuities can be commuted and the proceeds can be transferred abroad.
  • Requirements: Commuting of retirement annuities require financial emigration, a valid tax record and non-resident bank account.

Pension, provident and preservation funds

  • What it is: Pension and provident funds are retirement savings products to which employees or employers contribute. Preservation funds are similar, but are used when employees leave a specific employer. A third of pension and provident funds may be paid out as a lump sum to the insured at retirement and the rest is paid in monthly instalments. Provident funds may be taken as a lump sum when the individual leaves an employer. The normal retirement age for these funds is 55.
  • What you can do: These funds can be commuted and the proceeds transferred abroad before retirement age. In some cases you can benefit greatly from this transfer as some countries offer pension incentive schemes that encourage foreign reinvestment and allow you to earn interest in a stronger currency. Individuals who worked abroad while they were South African residents are also eligible for tax rebate for the period of foreign employment.
  • Requirements: To transfer the returns on any of these funds you need a South African ID document or smart card and if this amount exceeds R1 million you also need a valid tax record.

Living and life annuities

  • What it is: Living annuities are investment products that provide a pension income. These funds allow you to choose the level of income and investment. Life annuities are similar products, but are less flexible with lower risk because the beneficiary is protected from income waste.
  • What you can do: You cannot do much with your South African living and life annuities if you emigrate. Although commuting is possible in certain cases the value of investments should be below certain thresholds. can make recommendations for your individual portfolio.
  • Requirements: There are no requirements for policy changes, but we need your South African ID number for policy inquiries. Commuting will require a review of your annuities to determine whether you qualify.

Endowment policies

  • What it is: Endowments are similar to life insurance but a lump sum is paid to the beneficiary after death or a specific term.
  • What you can do: can help you cancel debit orders and surrender these policies and to cancel sessions if necessary.
  • Requirements: There are no requirements for the cancellation or surrender of policies, although we need your South African ID number for all policy inquiries.

Talk to about your needs

As the chosen financial services provider for South African emigrants, is the best choice for fast, affordable and compliant services across borders. Simply visit and submit your contact details on our online form for a free consultation.

Once again we wish to remind our readers that we cannot accept responsibility for any opinions expressed by our contributors, the contents of their contributions or the quality of the services they offer.

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Wêreldwyd admin
Wêreldwyd admin

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