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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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The best way to deliver bad news

Communicating bad news to employees while showing them your support may sound like a dichotomy. However, it is a vital skill that will ensure their wellbeing, and that of the business. Bad news of any kind can diminish employee wellbeing, with repercussions on their commitment to the organisation, their work engagement, morale, performance and productivity, even staff retention. Therefore, it is important to deliver bad news with due caution and care, which is underpinned by the following four fundamentals. Ensure procedural fairness Managers are frequently the messengers of bad news, and not always the decision makers. If you, as the person delivering the news, disagree with the process or

FSCA publishes final amendments under the FAIS Act

On 26 June 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) published final amendments to the General and Short-term deposit Codes of Conduct as well as Fit and Proper requirements under the FAIS Act. The amendments are necessary to contribute to the fulfilment of the FSCA’s legislated objectives and are ultimately intended to promote the fair treatment and protection of financial customers. Some of the amendments emanated from policy processes that started as far back as 2014, such as the Retail Distribution Review. The introduction of the Insurance Act also resulted in various references to terminology and classes of insurance business in the Long-term Insurance Act and Short-term Insur

Drafting a Will during the COVID-19 Lockdown

Life in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic has given people time to reflect on their personal affairs, leading to an increase in numbers of people making and updating their Last Will and Testament in a bid to regain control over their lives. With social distancing protocols however, having a will witnessed by two persons who will not be benefitting from it, and who are together at the same time, as prescribed by the Wills Act, could be difficult. A will cannot be signed electronically but a competent person, who is older than 14 and who does not benefit from it, may sign as a witness. Print the will in duplicate, and then try and find two witnesses who are easily accessible, such as neigh

Cyber resilience is central to risk management

The rise in cybercrime ranging from a data breach to identity theft, makes each of us vulnerable daily, as cyber criminals constantly seek to outsmart protective measures in place. This is of particular importance in the current ‘work from home’ environment as many people leave the relative protection of their work-based IT systems to use a home PC that may not be so well protected. Cyber-criminals are clever, and if you don’t think anyone is watching you online, think again. Cyber resilience should be what every business (and now home office space) should strive for, and it’s a constant task to manage. Thinking your business will never be targeted is a very dangerous assumption to make. Any

A COVID-19 Health Check for the Wills Act

Every aspect of life has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and estate planning is no exception – especially the execution of wills. While the exact rules for the execution of wills vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the pandemic confronted all with the same problem: Complying with rules of formality while adhering to lockdown restrictions. This is according to Johann Jacobs, a consultant in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s Trusts and Estates Practice, who notes that while some jurisdictions were quick and decisive in dealing with the issue – promulgating interim legislation and granting concessions to relax the requirements in respect of signing – no such steps were taken by the South Africa

A post-budget guide - what to talk to your financial adviser about

Three P’s you need to discuss with your financial adviser after the recent emergency budget speech. Although the supplementary Budget Speech on Wednesday was touted as an unprecedented emergency intervention – it left quite a few questions unanswered especially in terms of the highly publicised public sector wage bill discussion, quelling widespread corruption and just how government plans to make up a more than R300 billion shortfall in tax collection. What was clear, however, was that South Africans will have to cough up more from next year to foot the bill – and they will need sound financial advice to help weather this. According to Janine Horn, Financial Planner at Momentum Financial P

Technology will help protect ‘Travel Bubbles’ from popping

In 2020 new vocabulary has seeped into global consciousness. From ‘new normal’ to the more practical yet equally disliked ‘social distancing’, the additions to this year’s dictionary paint a bleak, dystopian picture. But in the last few weeks, fresh terms are being met with interest from wanderlust-stricken travelers and cautious optimism from governments and businesses hoping to rebound from the economic damage of COVID-19. ‘Travel bubbles’, ‘travel corridors’ and ‘air bridges’ are terms to describe formal agreements between governments allowing travelers to bypass strict quarantine measures based on the countries they travel between. It’s a simple but elegant idea to help combat the likeli

Boosting economic growth is the only option left but will the politics get out of the way?

COVID-19 SERIES 4 – 2020/21 supplementary budget Boosting economic growth is the only option left but will the politics get out of the way? Highlights National Treasury forecasts economic growth of -7.2% (in line with SARB’s -7.1%) and slightly worse than our April forecast of -6.1%. The contraction in growth leaves a tax shortfall of R304bn (inclusive of R26bn) tax relief compared to the February budget. New revenue measures are at the margin and only come in 2021/22 and 2022/23 at R5bn and R10bn respectively. Expenditure rises by R145bn (inclusive of Land Bank recapitalisation) compared with the February budget, largely related to COVID-19 spending. Consolidated budget deficit rises to 15.

Recovery Curves and the jaws of the Hippo

As more and more parts of the economy are starting to get going, there is a lot of talk about recovery and the shape of the recovery curve. Recovery of the economy There is an alphabet of recovery curves doing the rounds at the moment. The initial thinking was that it was going to be a V shaped curve. However as the lockdown has been longer than initially anticipated, the U and Nike swoosh shapes are more likely. The good news is that the pundits say that the L-shaped curve is unlikely. Rand dollar The rand improved against the dollar over the past month. Some are calling it as a start of an ongoing improvement. It is too early to make this call but it is certainly something I shall be wat

How have sustainable companies performed during the COVID-19 crisis?

Rather than being a luxury or an optional extra, our analysis shows that a focus on sustainability would have helped relative performance during the recent market turbulence. At Schroders, our view of sustainable investing is that companies who treat their stakeholders fairly will see better share price performance than those who do not. There had been increasing market debate on this topic before the Covid-19 crisis struck. Some took the view that sustainable investing was simply a luxury to be indulged in during a bull market, rather than a way to generate above-market returns throughout the market cycle. Recent market volatility has offered an opportunity to test our theory of sustainable

Supplementary Budget Review & Inflation sinks to 3% in April 2020 under lockdown

Initial impressions In our view, Treasury’s growth and inflation forecasts are realistic at an average of negative 0.4% and 3.9%, respectively, for the next four years Budget deficit at 15.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) for FY20/21 came out at the higher end of the Bloomberg consensus range of between 10% and 15.9% è fiscal deficit is expected to be 4.2% wider on average in the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) between FY20/21 and FY22/23 Expansionary budget initially as real expenditure growth outstrips revenue growth - government expects cuts in expenditure in the remainder of the MTEF to narrow the deficit to 7.7% by FY22/23 Relative to the February 2020 national budget, revenu

Retrenchment – what you should look out for

Many of us are worried about ourselves or friends and family being retrenched Here are some tips on how you can get the best after tax payout when you are retrenched 1. Be careful of resigning and taking a voluntary retrenchment package If you are retrenched, you are entitled to a severance package. This is typically 1 week’s remuneration for every completed year of service. However, if you take a voluntary retrenchment, this is classed as a resignation and the payout is taxed at your normal marginal rate. The generous tax benefits given to normal retrenchments do not apply here. For example, consider two employees (Jack and Joe) who both joined a company 20 years ago, both are 45 years o

In case of emergency

No one could have predicted the unfolding impact Covid-19 would have, and each of us is experiencing it in some way. The economic disruption, experienced to various levels almost everywhere around the world, has revealed just how lucky the ones are who have some emergency financial reserves to lean on. For many of us, it has highlighted that we have not prioritised saving and investment as we should have – and therefore do not have the emergency reserves in place that we need. While many people’s livelihoods have been impacted, others are fortunate enough to still be earning an income. For those who are able to maintain living expenses and keep food on the table, a first step to ensuring you

FSCA warns the public against individuals claiming to be associated with Allan Gray

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) would like to warn the public not to deal with certain individuals’ operating on WhatsApp claiming to be affiliated with Allan Gray (Pty) Ltd, an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP No. 27145). The FSCA was informed that there are individuals who have been claiming to be representatives of or affiliated with Allan Gray and are asking the public on WhatsApp to make investments. The individuals are offering short-term investments with a 100% return on investment. Allan Gray has confirmed that the WhatsApp profiles do not belong to them or affiliated with any part of their client offering. It is the FSCA’s view that the individuals using the

FSCA warns the public against Amahle Gwedu

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial services business with Amahle Gwebu. This individual is not authorised to give any financial advice or render any intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act). The FSCA received information that Amahle Gwebu is placing Covid-19 loan adverts on Facebook in various Facebook groups under the name of IMB Financial Services. IMB Financial Services (Pty) Ltd, an authorised financial services provider (FSP number: 43443), has confirmed that it has no affiliation with Amahle Gwebu and does not offer any form of Covid-19 loan assistance. Members of the

FSCA warns the public against Ashley Rix

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) would like to warn the public to act with caution when dealing with Ashley Rix. This individual 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 FSCA received information that Ashley Rix offers Forex trading services to his clients and promises high returns on their investments, which do not materialise. It is the FSCA’s view that Ashley Rix is conducting unregistered business as he is providing advisory and intermediary services without the necessary authorisation. Members of the public should always check that an entity or individua

FSCA statement on Crowd 1

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against an entity called Crowd 1, which is not authorised to render the financial services it is providing. Crowd 1 is neither an authorised Financial Service Provider (FSP), nor is it a representative of an authorised FSP. There is also no record of this entity having applied for a license with the FSCA. The FSCA is mandated by the Financial Sector Regulation Act (FSRA) to regulate, investigate and impose enforcement on any individual and/or entity rendering financial services and/or financial products as defined in the relevant acts (FSRA, FAIS Act, FMA etc.). Any activity or entity outside our jurisdiction is referred to the r

FSCA warns the public against Tradehedges Ltd

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public against doing any financial business with Tradehedges Ltd. The entity is claims to be an authorised financial services provider (FSP), using a false FSP number and licence. The FSCA received information from members of the public in 10 June 2020 that Tradehedges Ltd, claims to be an authorised FSP (FSP no. 685212). The FSCA was further informed that Tradehedges Ltd also displays a certificate purporting to have been issued by the FSCA when it was still the Financial Services Board (FSB) on 5 July 2017. This is incorrect, as according to the FSCA’s records, Tradehedges Ltd is not an authorised financial services provider or a juri

How to manage your retrenchment package

Those who have been retrenched in the wake of the economic havoc wrought by Covid-19 will likely have received a package from their company, but might not be sure what to do with the money. “It’s not as simple as taking that money and paying off whatever debt you have,” said Rob Rainier, Regional Head at Alexander Forbes. ‘Rather, it is important to have a strategy of what debt you should pay off, and it makes sense to first pay that with the largest amount of interest, this could be from a money lender, a personal loan or an overdraft.” At this time, it is common for family members and friends to come calling because they realise you have cash – be disciplined in who you’re lending money to

Covid-19: Compliance alone will not save your business, warns healthcare specialist

From the boardroom to the factory floor, fear and confusion remain the most common responses to the Covid-19 threat with potentially dire consequences for business sustainability. “Fundamentally, the primary emotion that people are feeling right now is fear - and every corporate is dealing with confusion. When combined, the two lead to poor decision making,” says Dr Jedd Myers, Managing Director of OccuFit and COO of corporate health and wellness services organisation, HealthInsite, who is at the coalface when it comes to managing and mitigating risk at some of South Africa’s largest corporates. He says that, across the board, companies do not have tangible policies, procedures and provider

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