First Quarter 2016 – In touch

jurgens group staff 2016
Jurgens Group staff conference took place at a venue east of 
Pretoria in February. The Conference content was most enlightening 
and inspiring. The many challenging and fun activities generated a 
true sense of team spirit!

Hi all

Welcome to the THIRD month of 2016! The incredibly hot summer season not only provided all of us with a wonderful summer holiday; it has unfortunately brought about a severe drought that has devastated farmers and will create food inflation costs in the months to follow.

Amongst all this gloomy news, it really was uplifting to witness communities pull together and fill trucks with animal feed and bottles of water to bring temporary relief to those most drastically affected. The nation never fails to surprise!

South African, as well as overseas markets, have experienced market volatility over the last few months with very little positive investment return. When markets pull back and fluctuate as such, this does provide a window for good portfolio managers’ to purchase shares at lower prices.

It is also a time when those investors who invest on a monthly debit order basis are able to benefit.

With low demand for natural resources, the mining sector of the JSE continues to struggle. The extremely low share prices in these sectors provide opportunities for patient investors.

Based on the delicate environment, the Finance Minister announced a reasonably well-balanced budget. Some positive aspects include tax relief for lower and middle-income earners. Provident fund members are now eligible for deductions in respect of their contributions; and as yet, there are no significant changes to Trusts.

Despite the presently unstable political climate as well as the heightened student disruptions, I believe the voice of the people will result in positive change. I am sure you have read the saying “you cannot live a positive life with a negative mind”. I strongly believe a positive attitude is what is presently required.

As I close off, I bring your attention to our cover picture. We have a GREAT team who are feeling motivated and proactive – we trust this will reflect in our service!



Employee Benefits from Estelle Susanna

Retirement Fund Tax Reform – T Day Effective 1 March 2016
The following tax reforms have become effective 1 March 2016:

  • The tax deduction of contributions across all Retirement products, Pension Fund, Provident Fund & Retirement Annuities, will increase to 27.5% of remuneration, up to a cap of R350 000 per annum.
  • Company contributions on behalf of members will incur Fringe Benefit tax should the contributions exceed the deductible 27.5% or cap.
  • The minimum threshold required for annuitisation of Pension and Retirement Annuity funds will still increase from R75 000 to R247,500.

The annuitisation of Provident Funds has been postponed to March 2018, but will be strongly reviewed during this time-frame. Should the annuitisation of Provident Funds be scrapped, the tax deductibility of Provident Fund contributions will be reviewed at March 2018.

The tax-free transfer from Pension to Provident fund will also be delayed to March 2018.

NB: A note to all Employee Benefits Employers: It’s quite common for Employers to find out after many years that their Employees have been employed under a false Identity Document. This has become more apparent lately, due to members being forced to apply for a tax number when exiting a Pension or Provident fund. It is our responsibility as the financial advisors, to report these irregularities. Please ensure that you apply for a tax number for all staff, regardless of their earnings, so that these anomalies can be picked up and sorted out upfront.

Short Term News from Greg Brits

The year started off with a bang and I can’t believe it’s March already.

With the Rand hovering around R15.68 to the US Dollar, who knows where it will be once you read this newsletter?

President Zuma sacked Finance Minister Nene and replaced him with the unknown back bencher, Des David Van Rooyen, which sent the Rand into free-fall, touching on 17.99/USD. Fortunately, with pressure from government and business, Pravin Gordhan came to the rescue. With the possibility of junk status still looming, this will further impact our economy and the Rand.

Why am I telling you all of this and what does this have to do with your short term insurance policy?

At a meeting with one of the larger motor assessing companies last year in September, it was announced that their basket of parts, compared year on year, had increased by 15% – and this was without any real increase in labour costs.

It was purely driven by the effect of the exchange rate on vehicle part prices – and that was when the Rand was at R13.38 / USD!

What this means, is that currency depreciation, now approximately 15% weaker than when the assessment was made in September 2015, inevitably causes an increase in the basket cost of vehicle parts.

Fortunately we have a good book of business with our insurers which enables us to curb any significant increases on your insurance policy. Any potential increases we would try to keep within the 6% inflationary range.

Another consideration of the effect of a depreciated Rand, is the cost of replacing imported goods. The prices of cell phones, iPads, TV’s and computers for example, increase and the insurer is unable to replace these at the increased value. Our clients then end up paying in the difference. With such a volatile currency, it’s very difficult to price items accurately to ensure that clients are neither over-or-under insured.

The above scenario also applies to House Contents and Building Sums Insured.

We have noticed on many client policies, that building sums insured are inadequate. We have recently partnered with a company, GRIP, who will charge as little as R500 for an accurate valuation to be done to ensure adequate cover. Please contact our office should you wish to make use of this service.

For our business clients who run fleets of vehicles, please ensure that your drivers inspect the vehicles and report faults such as smooth tyres or roadworthy issues. Especially for those vehicles not often available for inspection or that are at other branches. Should an accident be caused or aggravated by an un-roadworthy vehicle, the insurer has the right to reject such claim.

Another important point to remember is that fire equipment needs be checked on an ongoing basis to ensure that in an emergency, all such equipment is in working order. Remember too, to ensure that all electrical work done, meets with a Certificate of Compliance.

We are hopeful of an improved economy and exchange rate this year.

jurgens group awards
The 2015 Jurgens Group Achiever Award in recognition of 
Service Excellence, outstanding work ethics, efficiency and 
friendly attitude was presented to Lorraine Else by Greg Brits.     
Well done Lorraine!                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Bridgette van der Merwe receiving her Award from Mark Jurgens, 
for 19 years’ service with Jurgens Group. Bridgette’s highly valued 
and respected work ethic and commitment is commended by all 
who know her.   A great achievement!

Fourth Quarter 2015 – In Touch

Hello to you all….

Yet again, the year has flown by and we find ourselves in November – I like to think it is not age that makes time seem to go faster, but rather that we are all so busy that we no longer make time to stand still and savour the moments!

Reflecting on some of the years’ events, a few stood out more than others:

Who would have imagined that Cuba and the USA would finally end fifty-four years of hostility, and that we would see the Pope meeting with Raúl Castro in Cuba?

After a period of seventeen months, there was finally some debris from Malaysia Flight 370 washed up on the shores of Reunion island – a great discovery for the families awaiting answers and some form of closure.

Having been fortunate enough to visit Japan this year; the 70th anniversary of the 2nd World War bombing of Hiroshima was very pertinent and moving.

Not only do we see regular pictures of Mars, but they have also discovered that there is liquid water on Mars.

Geologists the world over are loving South Africa and our buried treasures!

And lastly, who would have imagined that the trusted VW brand would be involved in the rigging of diesel emission tests?

These are but a few of the interesting events that occurred during this year.

It is unfortunate that stock markets – both local and international – have performed poorly this year. Uncertainty regarding the Chinese economy, Greek volatility, and interest rate decisions in the USA, has caused global instability.

This year our Rand has also depreciated significantly, but has not performed as badly as many other emerging market currencies.

Fortunately, a number of Unit Trust managers used the volatility to their advantage. Their foresight prevented losses and resulted in our cautious and moderately invested clients achieving returns in excess of bank investments.

At times like these, one needs to tread cautiously before making any financial commitments.

On a positive note, most medical aid companies have announced single digit increases for 2016.

On behalf of all the staff at Jurgens Finance, I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking you for your continued support, which is very much appreciated.

I wish you and your families a happy and peaceful Festive Season and a profitable 2016.




Short Term News … from Greg Brits  

It’s that time of the year again and not too many days to Christmas. Some of you may be going away so we will do our usual checklist to help prevent any losses while you are away.

Santam the industry’s largest short term insurer have released the following crime statistics for the 2014/2015 year –

·      A 21% increase in reported commercial vehicle hijacking claims.

·      A 21% increase in reported household robbery claims (theft by use of force or violence).

·      A 19% decrease in domestic house breaking claims (breaking and entering a property).

·      A 13% decrease in the theft of private vehicles.

·      A 13% increase in reported business robbery claims.

·      A 4% decrease in reported commercial vehicle theft claims.

The above stats are a concern so we must continue to be vigilant.

Insurers are taking a stance that if there is a lack of maintenance resultant damage will not be covered. As an example, should rain cause damage to the ceiling due to the roof not being maintained, the resultant damage to the celling will not be covered. Please have your roof inspected to see that there are no cracks or cement that has perished from the elements that can cause leaks, and renew any water proofing at least once a year.

Checklist while you are away:

Switch main water supply off if your house is totally unoccupied to prevent flood damage.

Test your alarm system to see if it is in good working order.

Lock main gate if possible as thieves tend to force these open.

Get a friend or neighbour to clear the pavement of markers and newspapers from Post Boxes.

Have timers or day / night switches installed to have lights come on at night.

Switch off geysers to save electricity.

Check to see that you have the correct cover in place.

Have our number handy should an unfortunate event occur. Our office does not close over the festive season.

Once you have completed the above go and enjoy a well-deserved break.

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Life – Buy And Sell Agreements

A business needs to prepare for the event of one or more of the partners dying or becoming disabled. Putting a buy and sell agreement in place, can ensure a smooth transfer of shareholding between partners. This guarantees continuity for the business and peace of mind for the deceased or disabled partner and their family.

Traditionally, a life insurance policy is used to fund the sale and purchase of the shares or member’s interest. It is important that the policy be structured correctly to sufficiently cover the actual market value of the shares or member’s interest being purchased.

It is most important to note that the agreement will only be valid if the registered owners of the shares / member’s interest sign the agreement in the presence of witnesses. Be careful of in-community-of-property marriages, as the spouse will also have to sign the agreement. Many agreements fail because not all the parties have signed the agreement or have signed it incorrectly. Contact our office should you require assistance in concluding these agreements.

Employee Benefits – Estelle Susanna

This year has definitely been a less tempestuous year for the Employee Benefits Industry to say the least.  We haven’t had tax reforms or pension fund reforms that were on again off again, the whole industry has taken on a wait and see attitude.  If Cosatu allow the previous reforms effective 1 March 2015 to go ahead, they will be effective 1 March 2016.

A reminder – Provident funds to be replaced by Pension funds for member’s under 55, member’s will withdraw one third cash at retirement and purchase an annuity with the two thirds.  Contribution levels to increase to a maximum of 27.5%, capped at R350,000.

Wishing you a Blessed Festive Season and looking forward to being of service to you in the New Year.

Discovery Health – Introducing the Smart Plan

The latest in digital technology meets the best in healthcare as Discovery Health Medical scheme provides members with new access points into the health care system. The Smart Plan will be a fully digital experience, where members will be guided intuitively to the most appropriate healthcare providers, ensuring better health care journeys at the lowest possible cost. The Smart plan is the ultimate manifestation of a more effective Discovery Health system.

The most important aspect of this Smart Plan is that it provides members with unlimited GP consultations in the Smart Plan Network, with a R50 co-payment that applies for each visit. The balance of the consultation fee will be covered up to the Discovery Health Rate.

Members enjoy full cover for a defined list of acute medicine prescribed by a Smart Plan network GP, subject to a co-payment of R10 per item on the prescription. Prescription medicine must be dispensed at Clicks or Dis-Chem.

The Smart Plan provides full cover for all Chronic Disease List conditions as per the prescribed formulary list when using MedXpress, Clicks or Dis-Chem.

For more information please contact Simone Heyman by email to or call Discovery on 0860 99 88 77.