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As a central knowledge portal to the retirement and related industries, EBnet publishes a range of daily articles submitted by a range of industry organisations, experts and contributors. Readers can also comment on and contribute to articles.

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Alexander Forbes Investments strengthens team and enhances its “Smart Tracker” capability

Alexander Forbes Investments has secured a highly skilled team comprising six investment professionals to enhance its “Smart Tracker” capability. The team will strengthen our capabilities to deliver on our outcome-based investment approach under the Living*Investing™ philosophy. Leon Greyling, CEO, Alexander Forbes Investments says the investment capability of Alexander Forbes Investments is unrivalled in depth, expertise and experience, offering strategies for both corporate and individual clients. He says six investment management experts (most of whom have worked together in excess of 10 years at ABSA Capital and more recently Ashburton Investments) will be incorporated into the company

SARB rate cut offers welcomed reprieve and growth prospects

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has cut the repo rate by 25 basis points from 6.75% to 6.5% following the most recent rate cut in July 2017. The biggest contributing factors to the rate cut is the low inflation rate at 4.0% per annum as at the end of February coupled with Moody’s decision to maintain South Africa’s investment grade status and changing the outlook to ‘stable’. However, it is worth noting that this rate cut contradicts the most recent move by the US Federal Reserve to hike rates by 25 basis points. The rate cut offers a welcomed relief for South African consumers ahead of the looming 1% VAT increase. Investors view the rate cut as ‘growth positive’ for the South African

SARA Newsflash: Urgent Alert - Regulatory Proposal limiting Payroll Deductions

The Reserve Bank and National Treasury, in consultation with other regulators, have issued a very important regulatory proposal affecting remuneration and benefit professionals. The proposal directly impacts the ability for payroll to make certain deductions, even where specifically requested by employees. Click here for a copy of the proposal. This affects the EVP of various employers, depending on the sophistication of your package structuring alternatives. SARA have requested to become part of the consultative process, which is expected to happen in April 2018. Any SARA members who wish to join a special interest group hereon and kindly requested to please put their names forward and emai

Local industry-first specialist risk report reveals huge exposures for SA businesses

Over 56% of South African business owners believe that they still do not fully understand their obligations under the new Companies Act, according to a recent survey by SHA Specialist Underwriters. Citing some of the key findings of the 2018 SHA Specialist Risk Report Gareth Beaver, CEO of SHA says that this is a worrying statistic, as well as the fact that 52% of the businesses surveyed did not yet have any form of directors and officers (D&O) insurance in place. “From a personal liability perspective, this places the director’s physical and financial assets at risk.” Beaver explains that this survey is the first of its kind in South Africa, compiled from data submitted by 200 business owne

Financial planning key to narrowing SA gender gap

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, South Africa features among the top 20 of 144 countries in terms of gender equality. Worryingly, however, the country is ranked at just 89 for economic participation and opportunity, and a shocking 114 for wage equality for work performed in similar positions. Advocating that more South African women therefore need to feel encouraged to find their voice in the workplace, Citadel Advisory Partner Anelisa Mti also notes that the financial services industry should be doing more to help empower women to take charge of their own financial health. “More women need to find the courage to be outspoken about what they are looking

Alexander Forbes partners with black-owned healthcare consultancy firm in R12-million consulting dea

Alexander Forbes has partnered with a 100% black-owned healthcare consultancy firm to provide sub-contracting consulting work with an initial value of R12-million. The collaboration with Evo Financial Services enables Alexander Forbes to contribute to the B-BBEE profile of the health consulting business landscape, and sees the financial services giant showing commitment to transformation in the financial services sector. “Alexander Forbes is committed to finding suitable channels to strengthen our supply chain, deliver shareholder return and in turn contribute to South Africa’s growth. In this regard, we have embarked on a journey to partner and support a 100% black owned SME in the healthca

Publication for comment: Draft Amendments to Regulations of the Long-term Insurance Act Of 1998 And

The National Treasury (NT) has published for comment draft amendments to the Regulations (Regulations) to be made by the Minister of Finance in terms of the Longterm Insurance (LTI) and Short-term Insurance (STI) Acts. The draft amendments to the Regulations aim to – align the Regulations (specifically terminology) with the Insurance Act, 2017 (Insurance Act) as enacted on 18 January 2018; further strengthen policyholder protection by providing for more robust legislative requirements pertaining to the collection of premiums by intermediaries; and amend the binder regulations to provide for certain procurement and transformation requirements. The Insurance Act provides for the prudential leg

Directive PF No 8 - Pension Funds Act Prohibition on the Acceptance of Gratification

The FSB has just issued Directive PF No 8: Prohibition on the Acceptance of Gratification wherein it imposes conditions to combat and prevent bribery and corrupt conduct by any industry role player. The purpose of this Directive is to determine conditions to be imposed by the Registrar of Pension Funds (‘Registrar’) in order to combat and prevent corruption and corrupt activities by and of principal officers, deputy principal officers, board members, employees of retirement funds, valuators, auditors, administrators, employees of administrators or other officers or other service providers to retirement funds including investment managers and investment advisors. These include: money, whether

Salary Increases for 2018 - A March Update

In our article published in October 2017, which forecast the South African salary increase for 2018 -http://www.axiomatic.co.za/news/salary-increases-for-2018/, we stated that the general market salary increase would be between 6.0% and 6.5%. However, we did caution that the final increase would depend to a large extent on the trajectory of inflation and the exchange rate over the final months of the calendar year. Further, we also stated that it was too early to definitively decide on the salary increase and that we would provide regular updates. The February 2018 CPI was published at 4.0%, which was lower than January’s 4.4% reading. Inflation has surprised to the downside in recent months

Investing in early childhood development is the future

“If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.” – President Cyril Ramaphosa, SoNA 2018 The first one thousand days in a child’s life could hold the key to unlocking his/her life-long potential. By the age of 5, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed. These are the formative years where factors such as adequate healthcare, good nutrition, good quality childcare and nurturing, a clean and safe environment, early learning and stimulation will, to a large extent, influence his/her future as an adult. According to a new report released by Statistics South Africa based on the findings of the General Household Survey data, Early Childhood Development

The Sanlam Lifestage Accumulation Portfolio delivers incredible performance through 2017

2017 presented the proverbial rollercoaster ride of investment experience from downgrades to Trump to accounting irregularities to CR17. It was a year that had it all and so much more. It was also the year that the revamped Sanlam Lifestage Accumulation Portfolio delivered exactly what it was designed to do – incremental outperformance without a bias to any particular investment style. The Sanlam Lifestage Accumulation portfolio achieved 15.43% return for 2017… better than the performance of the investment defaults of the other major commercial umbrella funds! Product owner, Danie van Zyl, attributes this fantastic result to the changes that were made to the Sanlam Lifestage Accumulation Po

Costs continue to hurt the medical industry

In 2017, solvency and liquidity proved to be key issues within the financial services industry as regulators became more aware of the protective role that insurers play in the lives of their clients. Bearing in mind the high cost of medical care in South Africa, the above issues are even more pronounced in the medical schemes industry. According to a report in the recent edition of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) News, medical schemes have been hard at work to address the liquidity issue. Contributions going in According to the report, the medical schemes industry experienced an increase of 8.1% in gross contributions as of the end of December 2016. In addition, gross contributions wen

The benefits of increasing offshore exposure post retirement

"Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it to the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money." – Jonathan Clements One of the most significant once-off life events a person will ever experience is retirement. Therefore, a large portion of an individual’s working life is committed toward preparing for this occurrence, as one does not get a second chance at it. This transition from actively earning an income to passively generating an income while in retirement is so important that an entire profession (financial adviser) and industry (financial services) is dedicated to helping individuals prepare for it successfully. The kind of lifestyle one can hope

Alexander Forbes has called for an integrated approach to workplace learning

Alexander Forbes has called for an integrated approach to workplace learning because traditional approaches to education and training are no longer responsive enough to keep up with the pace of change, particularly with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Ryan Knipe, Managing Executive Alexander Forbes Empower says businesses are no longer as stable as before, so are careers, which means the need for lifelong learning, continuous upskilling and reskilling is now an economic imperative. Knipe cites studies in the US by San Francisco based award-winning learning platform Degreed which revealed that up to 85% of employees do not feel like the training they are getting at work is pre

Retirement Funds and Divorce

A divorce is a highly stressful time for both parties and the last thing either party wants is for there to be complications around the allocation of retirement fund benefits. The Divorce Act allows a non-member spouse to claim a portion of his / her spouse’s accrued savings in a retirement fund as part of the divorce settlement. The retirement fund can be instructed to either immediately pay or reserve the proportion or amount of the member’s accrued savings payable to the non-member spouse that the parties agreed upon for later payment to the non-member spouse. There are certain conditions, however, that have to be met in order for a divorce order to be binding on a retirement fund. The co

FSB warns the public against Service You Need Enterprise & Tracing Service (S.Y.N)

The Financial Services Board (FSB) would like to warn the public to act with caution when dealing with Service You Need Enterprise & Tracing Service (S.Y.N) and Ms Samantha Langeveldt /Jonker around Pretoria area. Service You Need Enterprise & Tracing Service (S.Y.N) and Ms Samantha Langeveldt /Jonker are not authorised to render any financial advice and intermediary services. The FSB received information that Service You Need Enterprise & Tracing Service (S.Y.N) and Ms Samantha Langeveldt /Jonker are rendering services to the public, including: claiming of pension and provident fund surpluses. From the information gathered by the FSB it appears that Service You Need Enterprise & Tracing Ser

FSB fines Dell Computer (Pty) Limited R100 000 for contravening the FAIS Act

The Registrar of Financial Services Providers (the Registrar) referred a case against Dell Computer (Pty) Limited (the Respondent) to the Enforcement Committee of the Financial Services Board. The established facts revealed that from 1 November 2015 to 3 June 2016 the Respondent collected insurance premiums in respect of insurance products that covered accidental damage to Dell computer devices sold to customers. The Respondent’s conduct constituted financial services and required that the Respondent be authorised by the Registrar as a financial services provider prior to performing said financial services. When the Respondent rendered the aforementioned financial services it was not authori

FSB warns the public against Destidex Investments (Pty) Ltd trading as StockTraders

The Financial Services Board (FSB) warns the public to act with caution when dealing with Destidex Investments (Pty) Ltd trading as StockTraders (“StockTraders”), an entity purporting to be in association with a registered financial services provider, and its agents. StockTraders is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. The FSB has received information that StockTraders is purporting to be in association with Emperor Asset Management, an authorised financial services provider (“FSP”) with FSP number 44978. Emperor Asset Management has indicated to the FSB that it has no con

Criteria for authorisation as an over-the-counter derivatives provider

The Financial Services Board has published today for information, a Conduct Standard for the Criteria for Authorisation as an Over-The-Counter Derivatives Provider. The draft Regulations were initially published on 4 July 2014 for the first round of consultation, with members of the public allowed a two (2) month timeframe to submit comments. Subsequently, the comments received were reviewed and a second draft of the Regulations was compiled taking into account the comments received. The second draft of the Regulations and draft Board Notices issued by the Registrar of Securities Services were published for comment on 5 June 2015 and a one (1) month timeframe was provided within which commen

FSB warns the public Fair Finance, Capital Loans and Daily Finance SA trading as Blue Granite Invest

The Financial Services Board (FSB) would like to warn the public to act with caution when dealing with Fair Finance, Capital Loans and Daily Finance SA trading as Blue Granite Investments. The abovementioned entities are not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (“FAIS Act”), to render any financial advice and intermediary services. The FSB received information that Fair Finance, Capital Loans and Daily Finance SA trading as Blue Granite Investments are offering loans to members of the public. They claim to be registered financial services provider and sometimes use FSP 20494. This is in fact the registration number of Simon Mbeki Mnyandu, whose li

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