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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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How to have your retirement cake and share it, too

In these financially trying times when many people are retiring or being offered early retirement, investors are faced with financial choices that could affect them quite significantly during their retirement. It’s reasonable that as an investor, you are looking for certainty regarding your future income. You’ve worked hard for your retirement savings. You want peace of mind knowing that you have a sustainable retirement income and that you could leave some capital for your family when you pass away. It’s a lot to ask for, but all of it is possible. In this article we unpack how having your cake and eating it is well within reach, even in this time of economic turmoil. Decisions, decisions

Looking beyond the corona crisis

Over the past few months, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak has shifted. In the early days, governments around the world hoped that by acting decisively, the outbreak could be put behind us swiftly. This has not proven to be the case and the disease has shown itself to be a truly global pandemic. The implications are severe, and likely to endure way beyond what was initially hoped. Shelter-in-place and lockdown measures aimed at containment have decimated economic activity and the ensuing global recession has been faster and deeper than that experienced in the 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Meanwhile, we have also seen unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus measures introd

What should you consider before moving back to the office (or not)?

Not only will we have to adapt to life after the pandemic, we will also have to adapt to new-look offices and workspaces. Here, three experts reveal what’s on their minds. Leaders across industries are rethinking work environments to mitigate the threat of Covid-19. At this stage, nobody knows when, or if, workers will move back into traditional workplaces, but what’s undisputed is that things will be different when they do. ‘It is an opportunity for employers to invest in employee wellness to prompt productivity and creativity, and to make an honest assessment on their business offerings, consumers and goals,’ commented Bruno Mundela, Chief Operations Officer for AdzLok. Before Covid-19 off

The rise of Umbrella Funds – making the right decisions

There has been a major shift in the retirement fund industry from private standalone funds to multi-employer commercial umbrella funds. This is definitely not news to anyone even remotely involved with the industry, but is it the right decision to follow the herd? The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is actively driving the reduction of the number of active funds to about 200, with the two main reason being consolidation and costs. The idea is to have a few large umbrella funds, large union-driven funds and some large standalone funds. This means that the members of approximately 90% of standalone funds is expected to find a new retirement fund home in a commercial umbrella fund. Th

What a weekly family feast meal and women’s financial health have in common

Phenomenal women have achieved incredible success across all disciplines in the last few decades. Yet opportunities for women in respect of financial education and employment remain unequal. This Women’s month and in the months ahead, women need to empower themselves and take ownership of their financial destinies says Shaeera Essop, Strategic Client Engagement Manager at Momentum Corporate, as she shares some practical steps to achieve this. “There is still a persistent gap between what men and women are paid. According to the 2020 World Economic Global Gender Gap Report, the global gender gap stands at 68.6%. So, if you are a woman, on average, you’re earning up to 32% less than your male

Necessary Changes to Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

On 20 August 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour in South Africa published the Draft Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (Draft Code), for public comment. This Draft Code has been guided by various conventions adopted by the International Labour Organisation, including the recent convention and recommendation on eliminating and preventing Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (Convention 190, 21 June 2019). The Draft Code includes aspects already encapsulated in the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace, as amended (Code of Good Practice). However, the Draft Code exp

The big green elephant in the room and why you should talk about it

If there’s one thing women don’t talk enough about, it’s money. Why is it that women seldom talk about money? Or our ‘next big investment’ ? Sales, yes. Investments, I can’t recall. Maybe it’s because we were brought up to think it’s impolite to discuss it, or because we don’t have the confidence to bring it up. It could even be that for many we’re so focused on other people’s day-to-day welfare - parents, siblings, spouses or children – and careers, that we don’t have the time or the inclination to pay much attention to financial affairs outside our everyday income and expenses. Or maybe it’s that we just don’t know what that conversation would look like or how to even start it? But we’re n

Latest Momentum claim statistics paint a different picture for women

Between January and December 2019, women made up just below R1.3bn (28%) of Momentum’s claims with cancer and mental health related claims remaining among the main concerns. A quarter of all female cancer deaths are from breast cancer According to Jenny Ingram, Head of Product Development for Momentum Myriad, death claims made up the largest majority of Momentum claims in 2019 at a staggering R3.3bn. Although 30% of the number of death claims were for women, the rand amount of death claims paid to females was only 23% due to females generally still having lower insurance amounts in place than their male counterparts. The majority of female death claims were due to cancer (42%), with breast c

Minimum skills and training requirements for board members of retirement funds

Introduction The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) recently published the final Conduct Standard prescribing the minimum skills and training requirements for board members of retirement funds. Background Section 7A(1) of the Pension Funds Act, 1956 (“the Act”) provides that members of funds have the right to elect, and employers have the right to appoint, their respective representatives to the board of the fund. It may, however, happen that board members so elected/appointed do not have the necessary and relevant retirement fund knowledge and/or expertise in order to perform their fiduciary duties or to make a positive contribution to the management of the fund in question. This can

This month's finances in simple English

What a month! This week I wore a suit and got stuck in a traffic jam for the first time since Cyril taught us to shake hands with our elbows. Things are finally starting to return to some level of normality. Investments The markets have certainly done well over the past quarter with the JSE having its best quarter in 19 years. Not to be outdone, the US stock exchange had its best quarter in 22 years. The question we should ask is what happened in the past after an excellent quarter like this? The table below indicates that most of the time, the growth continues over the next quarters. Let’s hope that history does indeed repeat itself. What is likely to happen over the next 5 years? I ha

Beneficiary Funds - Supporting Guardians and beneficiaries during Covid-19

The administration of death benefits on a Fund is - even under normal circumstances - no easy task. Family members of the deceased, need to be interviewed, documentation must be gathered and the preparation for a claim and distribution of funds can allow no mistakes. In the current business un- usual environment we face various new challenges: Working remotely and social distancing add pressure to decision makers like the board of trustees. Connectivity issues could increase the turn-around time for normal applications. Potential beneficiaries could struggle to submit required documents due to closed offices and internet cafes. The most daunting remains the gathering of informatio

South African women’s individualised financial journey

Balancing work and home life has always been challenging, but our new normal has had an even greater impact on our personal lives, affecting our families, livelihoods, well-being and health. As women in South Africa, the impact has been even greater. According to the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, women in South Africa accounted for two million (two-thirds of) job losses between February and April this year. Gender disaggregated data from 125 countries from 25 June 2020 shows that in South Africa more women (57%) are infected compared to men (42%). Women continue to feel personal and health pressures, which have been exacerbated by lockdown, business closures

Managing absenteeism and medical incapacity during a Pandemic

Employers need to formulate new strategies to manage employee productivity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations. Scientists are still studying the effects of the coronavirus in the medium to long term, and therefore have not yet established the associated risk of its functional impact on work output. Alexander Forbes Health Management Solutions managed a recent case where, eight weeks after testing positive for Covid-19, an employee could still only work for two to three hours a day due to headaches and fatigue. This had a significant impact on their productivity despite being declared fit for duty. By definition, a pandemic has catastrophic effects on individuals, e

FSCA warns the public against individuals claiming to be associated with Pro Global

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public not to deal with an individual named Mark Hopkins operating on Instagram claiming to be associated with Pro Global Forex (Pty) Ltd (Pro Global), an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP No.33691). The FSCA was informed that Mark Hopkins is using the name ‘markhopkins147’ on social media, asking members of the public to make investments with promises of high returns. Pro Global has confirmed that Mark Hopkins is not linked to Pro Global in any capacity. In addition, Pro Global is not an investment, trading or deposit-taking FSP. The scammer has posted comments on Pro Global’s Facebook page and included falsified internationa

FSCA issues public warning against RSA Search (Pty) Ltd and Mr Bennie Otto

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to act with caution when dealing with RSA Search (Pty) Ltd (RSA Search) and Mr Bennie Otto (Mr Otto). The FSCA suspects RSA Search and Mr Otto of conducting unauthorised financial services business and breaching various financial sector laws, including unlawfully operating as a bank. The FSCA received information that RSA Search and Mr Otto are operating a fraudulent investment scheme. It is alleged that RSA Search and Mr Otto have a website where they recruit investors to advertise on their website for a monthly payout. Investors have a choice to invest for a period of 12 or 24 months or to receive their dividend monthly or only

The long and short of longevity: a woman’s perspective

Longevity is an accelerating macro trend. World Economic Forum (WEF) research shows that we now live a decade longer than our parents’ generation and two decades longer than our grandparents. Internal statistics from retirement income specialist Just indicates a total life expectancy for a 65-year old to be 87 years for women as opposed to 82 years for men, with 25% of women at age 65 likely to reach 94 and a further 10% living to celebrate their hundredth birthday. Earlier this year, the WEF also co-launched an initiative that aims to mobilise ‘thinking and action to strengthen financial wellness’[1] for the 100-Year Life. Just Product Actuary Twané Wessels says that women underestimate th

Sanlam executive appointments to support the revised strategy

The Sanlam Group Executive Committee and the Sanlam Board have recently completed a review of the group’s strategy, which includes a special focus on clients and a focus on the digital transformation of the entire business to improve the customer and intermediary experience. The following appointments have been made to support the reviewed strategy: Mr Jurie Strydom, currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sanlam Personal Finance, has been appointed CEO of the newly established Life and Savings cluster; Ms Kanyisa Mkhize has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sanlam Corporate; Mr Bongani Madikiza, currently the CEO of African Rainbow Life, has been appointed CEO of SA Ret

When women succeed South Africa succeeds

Five strategies to help women succeed this women’s month “When women thrive, all of society benefits and succeeding generations are given a better start in life.” – Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, who championed women as the key to peace and prosperity. South Africa is in 17th place out of 149 countries, a slight improvement from 19th place in 2018, in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report. According to Alexander Forbes Member Watch research, in 2010 more than 85% of females earned less than R240 000. In contrast, in 2019 the proportion of females earning less than R240 000 had decreased by 18.6%, and the proportion of women earning R960 000 and more is seven time

Financial Transitioning

Change is as certain as death and taxes Big changes can create financial transitions in a person’s life that can be good or bad. Examples are when your spouse passes away, when you get divorced, when you get retrenched or retire or when you sell your business. All of these have financial as well as emotional implications. Your transition could have happened suddenly or it could have been anticipated and you are prepared for it. You can be happy about the change or it would cause unhappiness or grief. Unless you are emotionally ready to make a decision on the money or assets that are affected by the transition, it is likely that you could make a mistake with your decision. An emotional decisi

Sanlam and African Rainbow Capital create one of the largest B-BBEE asset managers in SA

Sanlam is pleased to announce that it has signed agreements with African Rainbow Capital Financial Services (ARC FS) in respect of a transaction to establish one of the largest black-empowered asset management companies in South Africa. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent. Once this transaction becomes effective, ARC FS will own an approximate 25% economic interest in Sanlam’s South African third-party asset management business other than the investment management business conducted by Sanlam Private Wealth Proprietary Limited and the Sanlam Specialised Finance division. ARC FS’ 25% economic interest will be housed in Sanlam Investment Holdings (

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