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Saving for the future… to save the future

July 30, 2019

Senior Healthcare Consultant at Chartered Employee Benefits, Paramesh Dayaram, looks at what the outcome of our country’s recent elections means for us, and encourages us to be part of the change.

As always, we at Chartered Employee Benefits are here to walk your financial wellness journey with you. Feel free to contact us.

Your vote counts

South Africa has held its sixth national and provincial elections, the outcome enabling the ANC to remain as the ruling party, though considerably weakened.

The next five years will show us if the President and the ANC are worthy of this ‘second chance’.

Now we look to the President who, no doubt, helped the ANC stay in power. A positive start has been Cyril Ramaphosa’s revival of the advisory unit to drive policy. The goals, though, remain what they have always been: economic growth not entirely based on direct foreign investment, but on creating, in the words of Ronnie Kasrils in a Daily Maverick article: “ … industrial policy with teeth to reinvigorate production, giving rise to economic modernisation with jobs, and redistribution instead of austerity”.

Almost 10 million eligible voters did not even register to vote. Given South Africa’s history, and the price paid in lives for the right for all to vote, this seeming apathy is of concern.

Of course, it may be argued that a reluctance (or refusal) to vote shows no faith in any of the 48 parties. The cynicism is understandable: the ANC’s corruption, kleptocracy and pillaging, and the voters’ lack of confidence in the other parties.

Shaping the economy

Our youth can shape South Africa’s future, once they discover that participation is personally empowering – be it in our country’s political elections or in determining their personal financial futures.

I am convinced that now is the time for younger generations to actively build our nation.

Large corporations are cutting back on staff, clear evidence of the slowing of the economy. While government is setting up policies to create jobs, we as citizens can bolster the drive to bring economic stability by supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses; mentoring and encouraging those seeking to create a local brand of excellence; as an employer, to transfer skills to employees and help domestic staff where possible.

Your part in a bigger picture

South Africans are reportedly poor savers generally, and improving our savings culture contributes to a healthier national economy.

Many members who contribute to a retirement fund via their employers do not know their current retirement fund value or how current retirement fund savings measure against their targeted income replacement value.

Retirement savings calculators are an effective tool that give individuals an indication of how their current retirement fund contribution savings will translate to monthly income at retirement and why this is a key indicator for changes that need to be made to achieve the desired target.

You can speak to your retirement fund consultant to provide details of how to access this functionality via the retirement fund administrator website, which generally provides other important information about your retirement fund, such as the current value and performance.

If you are not currently saving through an employer retirement fund, there are many options that still allow you to make provision for retirement.

Speak to a financial advisor, to assist you with making provisions.

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