Recent studies have indicated that only 6% of South African citizens can maintain their standard of living during retirement. This is of great concern to both the government and individuals. In an attempt to counter this dilemma, the government has implemented several new tax exemptions and deductions to encourage taxpayers to increase their retirement savings.
However, uncertainty exists regarding the effectiveness of these exemptions and deductions. For individuals to benefit from same, they will need to be informed on and understand the principles on which they are based. Above all, South African citizens need to grasp the importance of ensuring their financial security during retirement, which will hopefully create a culture of saving for that purpose. South Africans therefore need to increase their level of financial and tax literacy, either by informing themselves in that regard, or by consulting with professionals.
This study was conducted from a South African perspective and focused on the probability of financial and tax literacy increasing financial independence during retirement. The data presented in this study was collected by means of two questionnaires, which were emailed to a selection of participants. The purpose of this study was first to determine the financial and tax literacy of South Africans with regard to retirement planning and second, to determine whether financial and tax literacy could increase financial independence during retirement. This study is an empirical study since primary data was collected specifically for this research project.
Based on the data obtained by means of the questionnaires, it was concluded that the financial and tax literacy of the majority of South Africans is not sufficient to intentionally benefit from tax-beneficial retirement funds and investments. It was further concluded that although the majority of South Africans are not sufficiently financially literate to be able to optimise their retirement savings, they are willing to improve their level of financial and tax literacy and increase their savings towards retirement once they have been informed and have gained some understanding in this regard. Therefore, financial and tax literacy can potentially increase financial independence during retirement.
Mini Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2017.