Metropolitan Retirement Savings Plans Review 2021

Posted on Sep 6, 2021 by Staff Writer

Rateweb | South Africa

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Planning for retirement is crucial nowadays since life expectancy in South Africa keeps on increasing from year to year. Metropolitan thus offers retirement annuities that are designed to help you reach your long-term goals. 

Plans that are available for retirement are meant to help you retire comfortably.  The Metropolitan Automatic Inflation Management ensures that your retirement plan doesn’t get swallowed by inflation. Your retirement savings plan will always be up to date, to ensure that your future needs are covered. 

The Metropolitan Retirement Savings Plans allow you to save independently from your employer giving you the freedom to fully customise your annuity plan. At retirement, you can access up to a third of your retirement savings in cash. 

The money that is available to you when you retire can be used for anything. The retirement age is 55 years, therefore, you can only have access to your money at least at the age of 55. Furthermore, your retirement savings are safe from creditors and cannot be attached as collateral. 

Available plans also come with tax benefits. You will save on your taxes since contributions on a retirement annuity are tax-deductible. 

Metropolitan Retirement Savins Plans 

Metropolitan has two retirement savings plans for individuals to choose from. The plans start from R250.00 with lump sum deposits being acceptable. Plans available include the FutureBuilder Pension Plan and the FutureChoice Retirement Annuity Plan. 

The plans are discussed below. 

FutureBuilder Pension Plan

FutureBuilder Pension Plan is a standard retirement savings plan for indivIduals that requires monthly contributions. The product aims to beat inflation by increasing monthly premiums that are due. This is done through automatic inflation management (AIM) which automatically increases the premiums so that the policy can stay ahead of inflation. 

The minimum premium that one can contribute to the FutureBuilder Pension Plan is R250.00. The amount increases per year based on the inflation level. Those who pay higher premiums and are younger tend to save higher amounts of money at retirement.  

FutureBuilder Pension Plan invests funds into the smooth bonus fund. The smooth bonus fund aims to provide market-related returns and to beat inflation. This fund invests in portfolios that aim at long-term returns and tend to perform well regardless of the stock market’s ups and downs. 

The FutureBuilder Pension plan doesn’t allow members to choose from multiple funds. This is the case because the plan only invests in the smooth bonus fund. Moreover, switching from one fund to another is not permitted, therefore, the money that you invest will be only placed into the smooth bonus fund and no other fund. 

Skipping of premium payments is allowed on the FutureBuilder Pension plan. This is so because it is understandable that unforeseen events may happen, and may disturb your income-earning streams. However, this benefit is only limited to those that are unemployed, those who have taken maternity leave, or those who have fallen ill. Note that the skipping of premiums is time-bound. 

Premiums on the FutureBuilder Pension Plan start from R250.00 per month. You can add the premium waiver benefit on disability that pays your monthly premiums should you become disabled and can’t work. 

FutureChoice Retirement Annuity Plan

FutureChoice Retirement Annuity is a retirement annuity package that offers 4 risk-profiled investment funds that suit the investor’s personal retirement needs. The plan comes fully stacked with benefits that are not included in the FutureBuilder Pension Plan.

The FutureChoice Retirement Annuity Plan increases premiums from time to time to keep up with inflation. This increase is done automatically with the Metropolitan’s Automatic Inflation Management (AIM) which is there to help your plan stay ahead of inflation at any given time. 

The plan comes with the option to add the premium waiver on disability benefit. This benefit is a good insurance cover because if you become disabled before retirement, Metropolitan will pay your premiums due until retirement. Therefore, the benefit is a good option for those that want a high level of security over their financial future. 

FutureChoice Retirement Annuity allows members to take a payment break. Metropolitan does not pay your premiums if you have taken a break rather premiums are paused until you are able to start paying again. The payment break benefit is available to plan holders who go on maternity leave, are unemployed, or fall ill. 

Switching from one fund to another is permissible. You can switch between 4 risk-profiled funds to the one that suits your savings needs. The smooth bonus fund is also one of the funds that you can choose. 

Premiums on the FutureChoice Retirement Annuity starts from R250.00 per month. A choice of paying out a lump sum as a contribution to the plan is available. There is no maximum amount to invest meaning you can invest any amount from R250.00 per month. 

Conclusion

The Metropolitan Retirement Savings Plans are there to help you reach your long-term retirement goals independently from your employer. The plans also come with an option to access a third of your retirement savings at retirement which many retirement products do not offer in the South African market.

Metropolitan’s century-long experience comes in handy as the company has specialised knowledge in dealing with setbacks and other types of financial shocks. The plans are highly recommendable to anyone that is looking to save for their retirement. for retirement.

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