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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.

April 30, 2018

You can consider yourself one of the lucky few if you have medical aid. According to the latest General Household Survey, only 17 in 100 South Africans have medical insurance, the essential key that opens the door to private healthcare. As many as 45 million, or 82 out of every 100 South Africans, fall outside the medical aid net, and as a result are largely dependent on public healthcare.

The lack of medical cover is expressed in the decisions that families make. When asked, seven in every ten households choose to go to a public clinic or public hospital as their first point of access if a hou...

April 30, 2018

Perspective matters. A lot. Recent provincial economic data published by Stats SA take on a fresh light when they’re ranked against other countries.

Gauteng is South Africa’s economic powerhouse. The province contributed just over a third to South Africa’s economic output in 2016, according to provincial gross domestic product (GDP) figures.1 In runner-up positions were KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape, the second and third largest economies. Northern Cape, the least populous province, contributed just 2% to national GDP, making it the smallest provincial economy.

How do the provinces square up ag...

Old Mutual Multi-Managers. It is ironic that the president of a communist country is now the leading voice in support of free trade and globalisation, but this is the upside-down world we live in now.

In a widely anticipated speech, President Xi Jinping of China promised to further open up the world’s second largest economy to participation by foreign firms and to lower tariffs, including US-produced cars. He warned against a “Cold War mentality” and while there was nothing much new in his speech, it did calm investors’ nerves after weeks of talk of trade wars.

So far it is still just talk, and...

A few years ago we predicted that the disability insurance industry was headed for major change. Last year we saw it borne out by the results of Old Mutual Corporate's Disability Monitor: the frequency and nature of claims are changing.

Benefit levels that were designed when disability income was subject to tax have become much more generous after tax on benefits was abolished in 2015. This, coupled with the difficult economic environment of the last two years, have created the perfect storm which led to a very poor disability experience in the insurance market.

But there is a silver lining – th...

April 26, 2018

Naresh Suresh Tulsie has been appointed as the new Ombud for Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) effective 1 May 2018.

Mr Tulsie will be taking over from Ms Noluntu Bam, who has been with the FAIS Ombud since 2003 and assumed responsibility as Ombud since 2010. Ms Bam’s contract with the Board ends on 30 April 2018. Having completed two terms in office and ready to leave in 2016, Ms Bam remained in office in terms of an agreement with the Board until a suitable successor had been identified.

As the FAIS Ombud, Mr Tulsie will be responsible for promoting consumer protection and fo...

Given that we live in South Africa and therefore spend in rand rather than dollars, pounds or any other currency, for many of us it may make sense to have a significant portion of our wealth in rand. However, when spreading our eggs between various baskets, investing in different currencies is an important way to de-risk our wealth.

Core wealth is the money that is required to support a lifestyle without having to work. In other words, your core wealth enables you to be financially independent. Any more than that is considered surplus wealth. Wealth managers will suggest that anything from 40%...

Welcome to dreamland.

So pervasive has corruption supposedly become in the retirement-fund industry that Registrar Dube Tshidi has considered it necessary to issue a directive that will prevent it. The directive bears the formidable title “Prohibition on the acceptance of gratification”.

So inadequate are existing provisions of the Pension Funds Act (for trustees to avoid conflicts of interests and to act independently) and the general code of conduct for authorised financial- services providers under the Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act (which defines the “financial interest” that...

April 25, 2018

It’s hard to develop good money habits. It’s especially hard when those habits include delaying gratification and cutting back on impulse purchases.

When it comes to money, too many of us opt to satisfy all today’s wants instead of securing tomorrow’s financial freedom.

“Even though we know that small changes can have a big impact over time, we often lack proper motivation – or discipline – to do what’s right today for our future selves, particularly if we have to keep it up for a long time,” says Jikku Joseph, Managing Director at 22seven.

This is where our automated financial systems can play a...

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