Complex medical jargon still confusing consumers

Along with renewed resolutions for the year ahead, January 2010 also brings medical scheme rate increases for the majority of South Africans. Though experts predict the worst of South Africa’s financial woes to be over, insurance premiums such as medical cover will have to be carefully budgeted for. Consumer education on all big purchases, whether […]

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Make An Informed Decision When Choosing A Medical Scheme(S) For 2010

While the entire nation is reeling from the effects of a global economic recession, the healthcare sector is faced with an unfavourable reality. The negative effects of this and the ensuing cost to the economy are bound to have a long-term ripple effect. Rising costs, (particularly excessive increases in healthcare-especially private hospital tariffs) and the […]

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Caldis Positive About Public Private Partnerships

This year’s budget commentary held very little surprises from a medical scheme perspective. Fedhealth’s CEO Katy Caldis does however believe that the increase in public health expenditure is very positive considering there has not been any real growth in public health expenditure since 1996. Caldis believes that improved resourcing in the public sector is critical […]

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Affordability restricts growth

Affordability is a very real limiting factor restricting the potential growth in the number of covered lives – members and their beneficiaries – in the private sector. Crucial here is the balance schemes need to achieve between high contribution increases, that are primarily driven by escalating hospital and specialists’ charges and maintaining competitive options so […]

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Employers must take some responsibility for employee financial wellbeing

“Consumers have become increasingly debt-stressed and financially vulnerable in recent months” says Paul Slot, Director of Octogen, personal finance wellbeing and debt counsellor specialists. “Bad debts and arrears have reached all time highs, consumers are depleting their savings and cancelling policies, and with over 900 000 South Africans having lost their jobs in the recession, […]

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What a basic employee benefits package comprises

Attracting and retaining competent staff in a competitive employment market may be one of the most challenging problems facing any employer. If designed correctly, an employee benefit scheme can be a powerful tool in achieving this objective. A well structured benefit scheme will consist of: • Retirement benefits in the form of contributions towards either […]

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Small and medium employers should consider moving into umbrella funds as cost can seriously erode returns in the current market

While more than 80 percent of retirement have less than 100 members the cost of managing these funds (per member) can be 10 times higher than says a fund with 500 members. The reason is pretty simple: while small funds may be easier to manage, diseconomies of scale attract higher consulting and administration fees per […]

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Umbrella Funds, Saving For Retirement

UMBRELLA FUNDS – LOWER COSTS, LOWER RISKS Opinion piece by Hugh Hacking, Umbrella Fund Product Manager at Old Mutual Corporate (photo) 5 February 2010: With South Africa’s businesses emerging from the recent difficult economic environment, now is an opportune time for companies to review their operations in order to identify ways of achieving greater sustainable […]

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The new generation individual member investment choice

The move from defined benefit to defined contribution retirement funds has shifted the risk of inadequate retirement provision from employers to the members. It has also seen the subsequent evolvement of individual member investment choice within retirement funds. However, the fact remains that high-income earning members are generally financially literate, demand greater control of their […]

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Talks On Pensions Sector Alignments In Africa

African pension fund leaders gather in SA in April to explore a broad, joint agenda of co-operation and possible alignments on mutual challenges facing private pensions sectors. The African delegation, representing the Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non banking financial Authorities (CISNA), will meet, among others, the secretariat of the Financial Services Board (FSB) and […]

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