We identified that South Africans would value in-kind benefits from employers greatly in two areas: housing (bricks) and education (books). We argued that given their importance, there may be reason to allow both pension-backed lending and pension fund withdrawal for these two purposes.
We also considered other ways employers could assist employees with these two areas, including subsidies and education trusts. The challenge here is to take into consideration the tax implications of fringe benefits to the individual.
As has been argued in our introductory chapters, 'What’s the context?' we have realised that both housing and education act as partial substitutes for retirement savings.
Employers often provide housing to attract workers to remote or poorly serviced areas. While these benefits can attract and retain labour, they provide little value in addressing post-retirement requirements. If anything, they exacerbate the problem. When an employee leaves the mine or farm, they lose their home, have no claim on any asset and have to start from scratch.