One of the most common questions we receive about retirement annuities is around when one can withdraw funds from them.
The bottom line is that you are unable to access the funds until you retire, unless the entire amount saved in your retirement annuity is less than R7 000, in which case you are able to withdraw the full amount.
If you have saved more than R7 000, you will not be able to access the funds before the age of 55.
You can make an application to stop or suspend payments if you are in financial distress. Even if you do stop contributions, however, you will still be unable to access the savings in your retirement annuity before you turn 55. The reason for this is to discourage people from accessing their retirement funds before they retire and then ending up with insufficient funds at retirement age.