The Sanlam Cumulus Echo Retirement Plan is the only retirement savings plan in South Africa that will reward you with an “Echo Bonus” for every payment you make. The longer you save, the more bonuses you get!
You can invest online on our BlueStar website. We will include this investment in the regular reviews of your comprehensive financial plan. For this, commission of 2.5% of any recurring payment will be payable. If you select your own funds you will also be provided with ongoing investment advice and services, including performance feedback, for which 0.575% including VAT if applicable of the fund value per year will be payable.
How does the Echo Bonus work?
How much do you need to save?
View the Frequently Asked Questions.
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Sanlam designed its Cumulus Echo Retirement Plan specifically to make it easy and attractive for you to start saving for retirement – even with a small amount. It’s the only retirement plan in South Africa that will reward you with an Echo Bonus for every single payment you make. So the more payments you make, the more bonuses you get!
But Echo Bonuses do not need to stop when you retire! You will have an option at retirement to continue your investment without further contributions. At the same time you will be able to draw a regular income. The benefit of this option will allow for a seamless transition from pre- to post-retirement within a product that you are familiar with. You will also continue to earn and grow the Echo Bonus uninterruptedly over the rest of your life.
If you select the default option, your money will be invested in the Satrix Life Time Investment Option. This option initially invests in a passively managed fund, tracking a basket of indices at a very low investment fee. Six years before your retirement date, your investments are phased into a more conservative fund to protect your savings.
If you prefer to select your own funds, we offer a range of quality investment funds. You can choose up to five funds at first and can switch between these funds at any time.
If you're a parent or legal guardian, you can also apply to start saving in this retirement annuity on behalf of a child.
The Example is based on a monthly payment of R1000, taking into account an annual inflation increase of 6% over 25 years. It assumes an investment return of inflation plus 2% after fees.
Echo Bonus: R413 870This is the Echo Bonus that Sanlam will add to your fund value.
Investment Return: R472 470This is the investment return on your plan. The fund value is equal to the payments plus the investment return.
Payments: R572 730This is the total payments made on your Cumulus Echo Retirement Annuity.
When you retire, you generally need less income than you had before retirement. This is because some of your expenses (e.g. travelling to work) will fall away. Also, you will pay less tax after 65 (and even less after 75). Depending on your retirement plans, you would need at least 60% of your final pre-tax salary after retirement.
A Retirement Annuity is an efficient and important way to save for retirement because:
You save tax
Your retirement annuity contributions reduce your taxable income up to certain limits: part of your contributions come from tax savings, which means that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is actually paying a part of your retirement savings. Another big tax advantage is that the growth on your investment is tax free!
Your savings provide you with an income in your retirement years
When you retire, you may take up to one third of your accumulated savings in a cash lump sum. The rest is used to provide you with a monthly income.
Your savings are protected from your creditors
Your retirement savings are safe irrespective of any personal financial loss you may suffer. This ensures that your savings will be available when it is most needed and for what it is intended - the provision of your retirement income.
According to current tax legislation, and depending on your tax situation, retirement annuities have the following tax advantages:
You can deduct your contributions to a retirement annuity from your taxable income, up to a specified limit. This means that you pay less tax when you contribute to a retirement annuity. Contributions in excess of the limit can be carried forward and deducted from future taxable income, including a retirement lump sum or pension income.
The investment returns earned in a retirement annuity fund is not currently taxed.
At retirement, the lump sum benefit is tax-free up to a specified limit. Regular pension payments are taxed as income.
This does not only mean that tax is delayed, but because the tax rebates, rates and allowable deductions change at ages 65 and 75, less tax will be paid.
All limits referred to above are specified annually for the tax year.
The earlier you start saving, the better. If you cannot save the recommended amount, save whatever you can afford. You can also add some of your bonus payments to your retirement annuity.
The Sanlam Retirement Annuity is designed to inspire you to start saving for a comfortable retirement and to help you stay motivated to keep going and stay on track. It is one of the most cost effective savings options available, combined with investment peace of mind.
If you select the default option, your retirement savings are managed on your behalf.
The Sanlam Retirement Annuity offers an investment facility where your savings are gradually switched as you get closer to retirement, at an extremely low cost. Therefore you do not have to study the markets yourself to make investment decisions - instead you have complete peace of mind for the duration of your investment.
Alternatively, you can select your own funds.
Added value of the Echo Bonus
Sanlam will boost your retirement savings by adding an additional amount, called the Echo Bonus, at retirement or termination. The longer you save, the bigger the bonus.
Cost-effective savings option
The Echo Bonus makes the Sanlam Retirement Annuity one of the most cost-effective savings options in the market.
The Echo Bonus is an amount that will be added to your fund value when you retire, or end the plan. The more payments you make, the higher your Echo Bonus.
Your Echo Bonus is always a percentage of your fund value. The Echo Bonus percentage depends on the term for which payments have been made. The longer the term, the higher the Echo Bonus percentage.
The Echo Bonus percentages for the online Sanlam Retirement Annuity are indicated in the following table if you are paying recurring monthly payments.
To receive retirement annuity benefits, you must be a member of a Retirement Annuity Fund. For the Sanlam Retirement Annuity, this is the Central Retirement Annuity Fund. You automatically become a member of the Central Retirement Annuity Fund when you take out a Sanlam Retirement Annuity.
The Central Retirement Annuity Fund takes out a plan with Sanlam Life Insurance Limited on the member’s life, in order to provide the retirement benefits. The Fund, and not the member, is the plan holder.
The current charges for the Sanlam Retirement Annuity:
Marketing and administration charge
The charge is calculated on a monthly basis, which means the percentage is divided by 12 to calculate the monthly amount. This charge is subject to a minimum rand amount that will be increased gradually over 24 months from R0 per month on the start date of the plan to R50.50 per month. This current minimum rand amount will be increased from time to time to allow for inflation.
The marketing and administration charge changes as the fund value increases to higher fund value bands. If you select the default investment option, the following marketing and administration charge is applicable:
If you prefer to select your own funds and will be investing recurring monthly payments, the following marketing and administration charge is applicable:
Investment Management Charges
An asset manager charges fees for investment research and selecting the underlying assets for a specific investment fund. These fees are taken into account in the calculation of the daily unit price of the investment fund. The published performance figures of the investment fund are therefor net of these fees.
If you select your own funds, the Investment Management Charge is the weighted average of the selected investment funds. The value of the Investment Management Charge for each of the available investment funds is shown on the fund selection table and in the fund fact sheet for that fund.
A transaction charge is applicable for each of the changes below. The charge is currently the smaller of R300 and 1% of the fund value.
This transaction charge will not be taken for changes made after the planned retirement date.
If you are invested in the default fund and would like to add the ability to select your own funds, you will be charged R300 – however this is only applicable if you intend on making recurring payments.
Marketing and advice charges are payable on the Sanlam Retirement Annuity bought on BlueStar website due to the commission and investment advice fees payable to the principal of the BlueStar business. The commission can be renegotiated at any time by contacting your BlueStar business (see “Contact Us” for details) or the Sanlam Life Client Care Centre on 0860 SANLAM (0860 726 526) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sanlam Retirement Annuity bought on a BlueStar website will be included in the regular reviews of your comprehensive financial plan. For this the principal of the BlueStar business will receive a commission of 2.5% of any recurring payment. An initial marketing charge will be deducted from each payment based on this commission, and is currently 2.85% for recurring payments.
For plans bought on BlueStar websites where you select your own investment funds, you will also get ongoing investment advice and services, including performance feedback. For this the principal of the BlueStar business will receive 0.575%, including VAT if applicable, of the fund value per year. A fund-based fee will be deducted from the plan based on this investment advice fee for as long as there is an investment advice agreement with any adviser in the BlueStar business.
As soon as your application has been processed, you will have 30 days in which to examine the contract documents, and decide whether you wish to continue with the plan.
If the plan does not meet your requirements, and if you have not made any changes to it, you can cancel it by notifying your BlueStar business in writing during this period. We will then refund any payments you have already made. If the assets in which the payments were invested have decreased in value, or if you have already received benefits from the plan, we will reduce the amount to be refunded to you accordingly.
If you require further information on your Sanlam Retirement Annuity, please contact your BlueStar business (see “Contact Us” for details) or the Sanlam Life Client Care Centre at 021 916 5000 or 0860 SANLAM (0860 726 526) or email@example.com. Our compliance department can be contacted at the same number.
If a recurring payment is applicable, the plan starts on the date that the first payment is collected. If we cannot collect the first payment on your preferred start date, we will collect the first payment one month later and move the start date accordingly.
Yes, the recurring payment will increase with the Sanlam inflation rate one year after the plan's start date, and on every plan anniversary thereafter.
The Sanlam inflation rate is determined taking into account the change in the consumer price index, or any other commonly accepted method of measuring inflation that may apply at the time. The Sanlam inflation rate may differ from published inflation rates, due to differences in calculation methods. A minimum rate applies, which may change from time to time.
Yes, you can add one-off contributions at any time after your plan has been issued. Please contact your BlueStar business (see “Contact Us” for details) or the Sanlam Life Client Care Centre at 021 916 5000 or 0860 SANLAM (0860 726 526) or firstname.lastname@example.org
In your application, you need to indicate the date that you want the first payment to be deducted. If it is not possible to deduct the first payment on this date, we will deduct it one month later.
All payments are due on the same day of the month as the date selected for the first payment, or the first working day thereafter if the due date is not a working day.
Select the date for the first deduction to fall on or just after your salary payment date, to ensure that you have sufficient funds available.
The recurring payment can be increased, reduced or stopped. Contact the Sanlam Client Care Centre on (021)916-5000 or 0860 726 526(SANLAM) or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you select the default option, your money is invested in the Satrix Life Time Investment Option.
This option initially invests in a passively managed fund, tracking a basket of indices at a very low investment fee. This fund is moderately aggressive and can have a fair amount of fluctuations in short-term returns, in anticipation of higher real return over the long-term.
Six years before your retirement date, your investments are phased into the Wealth Protector fund to protect your savings against the possibility of capital loss at your planned retirement date. It is important that you adjust the planned retirement date on your Sanlam Retirement Annuity should your retirement plans change.
If you prefer to select your own funds, we offer a range of quality investment funds. You can choose up to five funds at first, and can switch between the available funds at any time. The first four switches in any plan year are free.
We invest your full payment in the respective investment funds by buying units in each of these funds. The unit prices of the investment funds are not guaranteed, and may increase or decrease over time.
The total fund value of the plan is equal to the sum of the values of the underlying investment funds. The fund value for each investment fund is equal to the number of units you have in the fund multiplied by the unit price at the calculation date.
In the event of a claim, please inform us as soon as possible. To obtain the necessary claim forms and to ensure that all the required information is supplied, contact the Sanlam Life Claims Call Centre at 021 916 1710.
Depending on the nature of the claim, documentary proof (e.g. a death certificate or medical report) will be required.
You can retire from your Sanlam Retirement Annuity at any time from age 55, or earlier in the event of ill-health.
The retirement benefit of the Sanlam Retirement Annuity is equal to the fund value of the plan less the transaction charge, if applicable. If you retire early, the Echo Bonus that is added to the fund value will be lower than it would have been if you had invested until your planned retirement date.
According to current legislation, up to one-third of the retirement benefit may be taken as a lump sum. The balance must be used to provide regular pension payments.
The fund value plus the Echo Bonus calculated to the date of death will be paid either as a lump sum or used to provide regular pension payments.
As required by the Pension Funds Act, the death benefit must be paid to the dependants and the nominees (if appointed) of the life insured. The trustees of the Sanlam Retirement Fund are responsible for allocating the benefit to the dependants and nominees.