Masterclass series

Masterclasses: our favourite questions and answers

During our second Masterclasses series, a number of questions were asked. These are the ones we thought the most insightful.

May 26, 2021

3 minutes

Albert Coetzee
During our second Masterclasses series, a number of questions were asked. These are the ones we thought the most insightful.

Endowments versus sinking funds

Q What protection or security is available to give those clients who elect to utilise the sinking fund structure peace of mind, should something happen to Ninety One financially, given that Ninety One is the owner of the underlying assets?

Ninety One Assurance Ltd (the issuer of the Ninety One sinking fund policy) is only permitted to conduct “market-linked business” and when writing policies, the value of its liabilities must at all times match its assets. This means that, although the underlying value of an investment policy may decrease, investors are protected due to the fact that Ninety One Assurance is not licensed to conduct any guaranteed business and therefore Ninety One Assurance will never be in a position where its liabilities are greater than its assets.

Q How do sinking funds and endowments differ in the case of creditors?

Endowments (due to having a life assured) offer protection against creditors in terms of Section 63(2) of the Long-Term Insurance Act, once the policy has been in force for at least 3 years, whilst sinking funds do not.

Q What is the value and use of the loan account linked to a sinking fund?

The following components are important to keep in mind when a product provider like Ninety One offers a sinking fund with a loan facility:

  • A loan is a withdrawal with the option to pay back (without affecting the 120% rule applicable to contributions).
  • It is not a liability in your estate.
  • Investors do not have to pay the loan back.
  • It can offer financial planning possibilities at maturity of the policy or once inherited from the deceased.
  • The loan facility (once taken) can carry over to the beneficiary if for example the deceased has taken a loan during his/her lifetime but never managed to pay it back.
Q For local sinking funds, how many withdrawals/loans are permissible?

One loan and/or one surrender during the first 5 years of the policy, limited to a maximum of all contributions made plus 5% compound interest. Multiple loans/surrenders after maturity, or once inherited from the deceased.

Q In terms of sinking funds’ loan facility, does this facility also apply to the offshore policy?



Q If you live overseas and are a non-resident for SA tax purposes, but you still have a living or life annuity in SA which pays an income into your SA bank account, how are you treated from a tax point of view?

The basic rule is that non-residents are taxed in SA on their income from an SA source. However, there may be a double taxation agreement between SA and the country of residence which determines which country has the right to tax the annuity income. If the other country has the right to tax the income, the annuitant may apply for a tax directive from SARS.

Q At what point does the CGT aspect (also referred to as an “exit charge”) become applicable? What date or value will be used for the CGT calculation?

A disposal of a person’s worldwide assets (with certain exceptions) for CGT purposes will be deemed to have occurred when a person ceases to be a SA tax resident. The amount of the CGT is based on the market value of the asset on the day before ceasing to be resident. The client will be liable for interest/penalties if not applied at the time.

Q Who would you recommend investors seek advice from regarding this process?

The client’s accountant, bank or any authorized dealer to kick start the initial process. From there any good cross border tax consultant to assist the client with the details of tax consulting and planning. It may be better to first speak to a tax consultant, before starting the process to be non-resident.

Q What about pension capital like RAs and preservation funds when it comes to CGT on emigration?

Retirement Funds (and living annuities) are currently exempt from CGT.


Q Would you suggest a TFSA or an RA for relatively low-income (taxable) earners, especially younger people?

It depends on the source of income, the investor’s age, planning needs as well as his liquidity requirements. The RA is normally a good place to start, because of the limited liquidity prior to retirement age.

For more articles & videos on funding retirement visit our Masterclass series hub.

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“Using a testamentary trust as a beneficiary of an ILLA can be a good option if the spouse is mentally incompetent, as would be the case with Alzheimers and where the Power of Attorney is no longer valid. It allows the spouse’s income to be managed by a trustee, bypassing the need for appointment of a curator or administrator – provided there are no other assets in the spouse’s estate.”

Authored by

Albert Coetzee
Head of the Global Investment Platform

Important information

All information and opinions provided are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. We are not acting and do not purport to act in any way as an adviser or in a fiduciary capacity. No one should act upon such information or opinion without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of a particular situation. We endeavour to provide accurate and timely information but we make no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the correctness, accuracy or completeness of the information and opinions. We do not undertake to update, modify or amend the information on a frequent basis or to advise any person if such information subsequently becomes inaccurate. Any representation or opinion is provided for information purposes only. Fluctuations or movements in exchange rates may cause the value of underlying international investments to go up or down.

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