Fourth Quarter 2014 – In Touch

I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Digby Levenson and Russell Sourgen to Jurgens Insurance Brokers, effective October 2014. They bring along much experience and expertise and we look forward to a productive and successful relationship.

You may have noticed that, from the beginning of this year, most financial institutions have reduced their fee structures. This is largely a knock-on effect from the long awaited Retail Distribution Review (RDR) report released by the Financial Services Board.

The RDR report, which was published recently as a discussion paper, will be implementing new rules regarding the financial services industry. Many of these rules being proposed are to protect you, the consumer. Ceasing of upfront commissions on investments, and a clearer breakdown of exact costs within all investment products, are two of the many changes being proposed in this report. We, at Jurgens Group, welcome these rule amendments, as it encourages transparency, lower fee structures and more disclosure.

South Africa is facing political challenges and with this in mind, as previously mentioned, diversifying your investments is vitally important. Our economy accounts for less than 1% of the world’s economy, and our currency remains under pressure.

On a positive note, the official inflation rate has remained at around 6% – a significant contributing factor is that the price of oil has reduced over the past few months – hopefully this will bring some relief to those of you travelling long distances over the festive season.

I would like to thank you once again for your continued support and loyalty in all divisions of our company.

To my colleagues and staff, a sincere thank you for your dedication and commitment during the past year.

Wishing all of you a safe, happy and relaxing festive season.

Regards
Mark


Employee Benefits – Estelle Susanna

It’s been a year of turmoil in the Employee Benefits industry with proposed changes, then legislated changes, months of workshops and training, only to be informed at the last minute, that these changes would be delayed, possibly as late as March 2016.

With all the retirement reforms proposed, the most important reform, that being compulsory retirement savings, has not yet been addressed. It’s devastating to process retirements for members who do not have sufficient provisions to retire on. However, they’re the privileged few; their employers have at least made some type of effort to provide a retirement savings scheme.

It won’t be long before Treasury realises that it is unfounded to impose prescribed minimums, tax rules and the Pension Fund Act on some of the South African workforce, whilst others don’t have the opportunity to contribute to any type of retirement savings.

Employers should have a sense of responsibility to provide a retirement savings facility for their staff and not wait for Government to impose a compulsory one.

Most young employees do not consider it necessary to start saving for retirement whilst in their 20’s. Unfortunately, employers who think that these employees are contributing in their personal capacities, are mistaken. Until South Africans develop a culture of saving; employers should take on the responsibility of ensuring that their staff members’ retirement needs are taken care of by means of a retirement savings facility.

On that note, less Christmas cake for employers and more bread for employees. Have a Blessed Christmas!!


Short Term News … from Greg Brits

We echo the sentiments of Mark by welcoming Digby, Russell and Debra from Bert Levenson Insurance who have joined forces with Jurgens Insurance Brokers. They bring with them, many years’ worth of experience as well as giving added value when dealing with the insurers. This in turn, means more leverage regarding premiums and services for our clients. We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship in the future, which will grow from strength to strength.

The insurers are currently taking a closer look at thatched lapas on client’s policies. There have been a few burn down claims recently which have affected the main residence. Should you have a thatch lapa on your premises, please let us know so that we can ensure it is covered correctly.

With regards to jewellery and watches, the insurers require that whilst not being worn, these items must be kept in a locked safe, bolted to the wall or floor.

As we head for the end of the year, here are some helpful tips should you be going away:

  • Do you have the correct travel insurance policy in place? The cover offered by credit card companies is usually inadequate. For more information, please contact our office.
  • Has your insurance policy been updated to ensure that there is adequate cover for additional goods purchased or items being taken out of the home on holiday?
  • Have you asked a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your premises and to remove any markings or newspapers delivered which give the impression that the home is unoccupied? Do they have keys should they be required to access your property?
  • Give our contact details to a neighbour or friend so that they can contact us if assistance is required.
  • Test your alarm to see that is in good working order. This should be done at least once a month.
  • Turn the water mains off in case of a burst pipe or geyser to avoid your home being flooded.
  • If you are able to, try and lock the main gate to your home as this is usually the access point to your property for intruders.

Please note that our offices are open over the festive period and our staff are available to assist you in the event of an incident.

We would once again like to thank you for your continued support and wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.


A Christmas holiday Parable:

One Christmas holiday, Sherlock Holmes and Mr Watson went on a camping trip. After a fulfilling meal they lay down in their tent for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see. ” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars. ” “What does that tell you?” Holmes questioned.

Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Logically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. ” “Is that all?” Holmes asked. “Yes,” Watson replied. “Why have I missed something?” Holmes was quiet for a moment, then spoke. “Watson you idiot! Someone has stolen the tent!”

Source: Perspective Vol 8 No4 © Perspective 2001

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