Retirement, Corruption, Clerical Pay amp; Discovery Health

Retirement rainbow ends in pot of gold  

Retirement fund tax is gone.  Over three and half decades of retirement fund contributions the 9% retirement fund tax would reduce your income on retirement by 5% “When that day comes, when your employer declares you unemployable , when your only source of income is money you saved while you were considered useful, an additional 5% will be cause for celebration indeed.” Retirement funds are now attractive tax efficient savings vehicles as
income tax, capital gains tax and a proposed new dividends tax are payable on investments outside of retirement funds. Consider increasing your contributions to retirement fund.

(Sunday Times, 18 March 2007)

CEF is committed to transformation

The board appointment of Busi Mabuza in in line with the transformation drive regarding representation of women. The Business Women’s Association’s 2006 Women in Corporate Leadership Census found that “although women continue to be under-represented in top corporate leadership positions, it would seem that it is easier for women to become chairs of boards than it is for them to become chief executives”.

(City Press, 17 March 2007)

Discovery Health sued for ‘illegal’ fee

Wynand Venter, (Wynsam Health), is inviting thousands of members of Discovery who paid the ancillary fee from 2001 to 2005, to join his suit against Discovery Health. He claims that Discovery charged individuals & groups of less than 35 an extra fee called an ancillary fee that was paid to the administrator for extra services. Alan Pollard, (Discovery GM Research and Development) rejected the claim – the ancillary fee was for services not in the normal scope of medical aid services. It ceased in 2005 when the ancillary fee was included into the agreement with the Medical Schemes Agreement.

(Moneyweb, 15 March 2007)

Middle managers most corrupt

A study commissioned by Business Against Crime covering 760 companies in 14 industry sectors showed middle management was mostly involved in bribery – offerring & accepting them. Business did not report it to the police due to lack of confidence in justice system and fear of intimidation. The Companies Act is being bolstered to secure greater compliance with corporate governance.

(IOL, 13 March 2007)

Prevalent forms of corruption

Competing for quotes/tenders – 29%
Awarding tenders/quotes     – 11%
Theft from company           – 10%
BEE fronting                 –  7%

Monetary bribes were the most popular followed by kickbacks, gifts, favours and excessive entertainment. Companies said corruption was a deterrent to doing in business in SA (74.5%) and ethical conduct in the industry sector (48.5%) Less than 50% of companies had whistle blowing mechanisms for employees that identified corruption.

(IOL, 13 March 2007)

Clerical staff win the biggest pay increases

According to Kelly’s annual salary survey, pay rises were:

Office & Administration managers – 6.46%
Book-keepers                   – 6.40%
Secretaries                       – 6.39%.

Locations

Johannesburg and in the Vaal – 6.15%.
Free State                   – 6.12%
Western Cape               – 6.09% r

Increases attributed to cost of living,  skills at a premium and affirmative action.

(Sunday Times, 11 March 2007)

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