Friday, 18 August 2017

How does Fundisa work?

  • You will receive a bonus each year as a reward for saving for a child’s education. The amount of the bonus can be as much as 25% (one quarter) of the money you save each year, to a maximum of R600 per child.
  • This means that if you save R100 a month for a year (R1200 a year), you will get another R300 a year towards paying for your child’s education.
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  • In 2007 Government and ASISA member companies agreed to support a 3 year pilot project to assess whether parents and guardians wanted to save for their children’s higher education. Following the success of the pilot project, the stakeholders of the initiative, being the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) have agreed to take this savings initiative to the next level and launch the second phase of Fundisa on 1 March 2013.
  • From 1 March 2013, a means test of an annual household income of R180 000 or less, will apply to the families of all learners who want to open a Fundisa Fund account.
  • If the investor is not related to the learner, the means test will not apply to the investor; it only applies to the family of the learner. Anyone can therefore still invest on behalf of a learner, provided the learner comes from a household earning less than R180 000 per year.
  • High income earners are encouraged to invest on behalf of children from low-income families and therefore the means test does not apply to investors. The fund is also designed to accommodate employers who would like to offer Fundisa as a benefit for employees who fall within the means test.
  • The investor’s account will receive a bonus each year as a reward for saving for a child’s education. The amount of the bonus can be as much as 25% (one quarter) of the money saved each year, to a maximum of R600 per child.
  • This means that if you save R100 a month for a year (R1200 a year), you will get another R300 a year towards paying for your child’s education.
  • The bonus is not guaranteed and is allocated to investors on a ‘first come, first to receive the reward’ basis. As long as there is money in the bonus pool the bonus will be allocated annually to the savings for learners who pass the means test. The bonus is funded from Government and private sector contributions and both the Department of Higher Education and Training and ASISA remain committed to Fundisa.
  • The means test will not apply to families of learners who opened Fundisa accounts before 1 March 2013. The annual bonus payments will continue to be made to these investors. All bonus payments to these investors will be honoured provided the learner enrols at a public tertiary educational institution when the time comes for the learner to enrol for their higher education. Bonus payments to these learners whose families fall outside of the means test will be funded from bonus money sourced from ASISA members.
  • There is no limit on the number of people (investors) that may save on behalf of a single learner. However, the most that can be allocated as a bonus for each learner each year is R600 no matter the number of investors.
  • To receive the maximum bonus of R600, the investor will need to save R2400 in total in that year.
  • The bonus money does not belong to the investor – it can only be used by the learner whose education the investor is saving for.
  • If you need to take your money out of your Fundisa Fund account you can, but then you will lose the 25% bonus you would have received. It will take two working days for you to get your money from the unit trust company or bank where you opened your Fundisa Fund account, if you do need to take your money.
  • If the learner chooses not to study further, you will lose the bonus money unless you choose another learner to take their place.
  • If the bonus is not used to pay towards any learner’s studies then you will lose it.