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Author: Verso

Give a Little upliftment project in support of Simonsberg Primary School

Give a Little upliftment project in support of Simonsberg Primary School

Give a little
Verso employees volunteered on a renovation project that took place over 3-days at Simonsberg Primary School. The volunteers assisted with an upliftment project of the facility used to feed learners every day.

Give a little 4

The content in this article is wholly owned by the Verso Group of Companies. Companies in the Verso Group are authorised Financial Services Providers.

What will happen to your Gap Cover costs in 2017?

What will happen to your Gap Cover costs in 2017?

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New regulations on gap cover products came into effect on the 1st of April 2017.

An overall annual policy limit of R 150 000 per person per year will apply for new policies taken from 1 April 2017 onwards.

“The Demarcation Regulations state that clients on existing policies with a cover start date prior to 1 April 2017 may continue with their existing cover until 31 December 2017. New policies with a cover start date of 1 April 2017 and thereafter must join a policy that aligns to the Demarcation Regulations.”

“Until 1 January 2018, the cover for existing gap cover policy holders will be unaffected.”

Premiums will not be reduced as a case of the new limitation.

According to the Health Minister, the purpose of the change is to try and prevent doctors from charging high tariffs as they currently have no reason to compete on either price or quality.

What does this mean for gap cover clients?

The intention is to prevent doctors taking advantage of over extensive cover, which means you should be paying less. However, there have been instances where, depending on your plan, you exceed the limits that will be introduced with the regulation.

If you would like more clarity on these regulatory changes, please contact your Verso Health, healthcare consultant.

Call us on 021 943 5302 or email us at info@verso-health.co.za

Visit our website today at www.verso.co.za

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References:

  • www.stratumbenefits.co.za
  • businesstech.co.za/news/business/149569/two-massive-medical-aid-changes-coming-in-2017-that-you-need-to-know-about

 

The content in this article is wholly owned by the Verso Group of Companies. Companies in the Verso Group are authorised Financial Services Providers.

Making the Most of your Retirement Annuity

Making the Most of your Retirement Annuity

Verso Wealth_Galileo Capital

Take advantage of this gift from the government.

I’d like you to please take 3 minutes to imagine and write down how you would feel having a comfortable and worry free retirement one day. It could be going on holidays, spoiling your grand kids and never having to worry whether you have enough money coming in every month.

How do you get there?

A retirement annuity is one of the best tools to accumulate wealth for your future. It is a form of investment that has been in the market for many years and in many forms. The so-called legacy RA’s, dreamed up by Insurance companies in the 80’s and 90’s, are becoming extinct and are being replaced by their younger and more nimble Unit Trust based descendants.

In 2014 National Treasury estimated that only 6% of South Africans would be able to retire into the same standard of living they enjoyed in their career and be able to earn the same income they were earning when they retired. To address this National Treasury has been working hard to improve South African’s retirement prospects by incentivising investing for retirement.

What makes a Retirement Annuity great?

A retirement annuity is a wrapper/shell/outer layer. Within the retirement annuity is the underlying investment. These days this is likely to be a Unit Trust based investment.

There is no taxation payable within the Retirement Annuity. All interest and dividends generated by the Unit Trust investments inside the Retirement Annuity are tax free. These incomes are kept inside the retirement annuity and used to buy more units of the Unit Trust. You can replace the unit trusts inside your R.A. with others and not be liable for any Capital Gains taxation.

You are entitled to deduct your contributions to your retirement annuity from your income tax. This means that by contributing to your Retirement Annuity, you will effectively be paying less income tax.

You can retire from a retirement annuity as early as the age of 55. When you retire you will be entitled to a maximum of one third of the retirement annuity as a cash lump sum. R500 000 of this will be tax free. A minimum of two thirds of the retirement annuity must be used to buy an annuity that will give you a monthly pension for your retirement.

In Short

Income and Growth are both tax free. You are entitled to a tax deduction for your contributions to your R.A. You are effectively paying less income tax by contributing to a retirement annuity. You can retire from an R.A. at age 55. When you retire you can take one third of the value in cash. R500 000 of this will be tax free. Two thirds must be used to purchase an annuity that will give you a monthly pension.

A gift from National Treasury

From March 2016, National Treasury has given us a real gift. They increased the deduction allowable for our retirement funds to 27.5%. This means that you will be able to contribute 27.5% of your Taxable income (All incomes less all deductions) to your Retirement Annuity and receive an income tax deduction. This is to a maximum annual deduction of R350 000. Anything in excess of this will be carried forward to your next tax year.

In previous years we were only allowed to get a tax deduction for contributions equal to 15%. It is now seriously in our interest to be contributing as much as we can to our Retirement Annuity.

In Short

We can contribute 27.5% of Taxable income to our Retirement Annuity and receive an income tax deduction.

Give your future self a raise

Your retirement annuity will be used to produce a salary for yourself in future. The larger the retirement annuity you accumulate the more your future salary will be.

South Africa is a high inflationary environment. Most expenses increase by at least inflation every year and many of them, such as medical expenses increase well in excess of this. In order to keep up with inflation and protect our retirement capital we need to increase our retirement annuity contribution by inflation every year. This needs to be the first thing on your list when you get a salary increase. By increasing your contribution by inflation you are effectively giving your future self a raise.

In Short

Increasing your R.A. contribution with at least inflation every year protects your capital and is effectively giving your future self a raise.

Give your future self a bonus

Personal finance is about consumption. The more or less you consume of your salary every month will have a direct bearing on how much you have to provide for your future retirement. Often we put everything ahead of our retirement provision. This is one of the chief reasons why many South Africans will not have enough to retire one day. We need to put our retirement first and then live off the rest, not the other way around.

This is especially true when it comes to surprise lump sums such as a bonus or an income tax refund. This is money that we may not have been expecting. If we use it to fuel our lifestyle we are in fact creating more of a burden on our future selves. We will be reliant on having the lump sum available in future to cover certain expenses. However, if we put the lump sum directly into our Retirement Annuity we have essentially given our future self a bonus. We have also reduced our tax liability this year. We will have lived off less and provided more for the future.

We have until 28 February 2017 to put a lump sum into our Retirement Annuity this year. It’s something that will pay major future benefits.

In Short

Putting a lump sum into your R.A. will be a major future benefit and will save you tax this year. It is like paying your future self a bonus. You have until 28 February 2017 for this tax year.

Just get started and increase aggressively

There are multiple articles in the media that talk about the percentage of your gross salary you need to put into your retirement annuity in order to successfully retire one day. Knowing how much you should be investing for your retirement each month can be extremely intimidating and demoralising. The most important part is to get started. Any goal can be reached in small increments. You can now take out a Retirement Annuity for as little as R500 per month with many providers in the market. This is not much money at all.

Once you get started you need to increase your contributions aggressively every year or whenever you get a raise. A 10% increase in your R500 contribution is only R50 per month. If you get a big bump in your pay cheque you can also aggressively increase your retirement annuity contribution. Providing adequately for retirement is about getting started and then making a series of small wins, and occasional big ones, throughout your career.

Think about this:

If we use a cricketing analogy: We do not need to hit a four or six every ball to win a game of cricket. Provided we do not lose wickets (We get started and stay consistent with our contributions) or have too many dot balls (not increasing our contributions) and that we get consistent 1’s and 2’s (annual increases in our contributions) and the occasional 4 and 6 (increasing aggressively when we get a raise) we are setting ourselves up for an imposing total (an adequate provision for retirement).

In Short

The most important thing is to get started. You can do it for as little as R500 per month. You then need to aggressively (above inflation) increase your contributions whenever you get a raise and especially when you get a promotion.

Having a comfortable and worry free retirement one day is peace of mind that is worth hard work and effort. The truth is: one day after a long career you will deserve a rich retirement, but the only person who is going to make it happen is you. To make it happen you have to:

  1. Get going;
  2. Give your future self a raise and;
  3. Pay your future self a bonus.

This article was brought to you by Verso Wealth (Pty) Ltd, an authorised Financial Services Provider, FSP license number: 46260. To speak to an advisor, call us on 021 943 5301 or mail us at info@verso-wealth.co.za.  

Verso Wealth (Pty) Ltd is a division of the Verso Group of Companies.

ARE YOU A MEMBER OF A FUND ADMINISTERED BY VERSO?

ARE YOU A MEMBER OF A FUND ADMINISTERED BY VERSO?

Download the InTouch mobile app FREE today.

Step 1:

  • Go to Google Play or App Store.

Step 2:

  • Search for InTouch by Verso.
  • Download and Accept.

Step 3:

  • Open the InTouch App, Click on log in.

Step 4:

  • Select New User.
  • Fill in your Surname, ID Number and Cell Phone Number.
  • Click register.

You will receive an SMS with your User Name and Password on successful registration. Use these details to log in to the InTouch

Not sure if your Fund is Administered by Verso?

Contact us and we’ll check if you qualify to download the InTouch by Verso app.

Contact us is you need assistance in downloading the app, or to verify if you are eligible to use the app.

Call us on 021 943 5306 or email us at intouch@verso.co.za

Visit our website today at www.verso.co.za

The InTouch app is brought to you by Verso Financial Services, an authorised Financial Services Provider. FSP License no. 14985.

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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)

IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR ADDING VALUE?

IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR ADDING VALUE?

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– By Wessel Oosthuizen

Do I need a financial advisor at all?

Actually you might not really need one. If you need a life insurance or investment product and you have the required knowledge of these products then you don’t really need a financial advisor.

BUT it’s not that easy if you need proper financial planning.

A global study by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) found that most people feel challenged by their finances, with relatively few saying they are very knowledgeable about financial matters or highly successful at sticking to their financial goals.

Can you say yes to the following:

  • I know whether there will be a liquidity problem in my estate when I die.
  • I know the amount needed for my dependents to replace my income when I die.
  • I know the difference between temporary and permanent disability.
  • I know my risk profile.
  • I know how unit trusts, tax free investments, equities and bonds operate and the returns they deliver.
  • I know the tax implications of different investments and the impact on my
  • I know whether I have saved enough for retirement.

If your response is “no” to most of these statements, then it is a good idea to consider contacting a financial advisor.

How do I choose a financial advisor?

Establish whether he/she is trustworthy and will be able to add value. One of the biggest problems identified in a global study is knowing whom to trust. Among those surveyed, 68 percent rate “trustworthiness” as very important when choosing a financial professional – higher than any other consideration. Yet, two in three consumers (66 percent) agree either strongly or somewhat that they do not know who to trust when it comes to getting financial planning advice.

How to determine the knowledge of a financial advisor?

  • They must have the knowledge to add value, so for a start they must be able to respond “yes” to the above mentioned statements on your behalf.
  • Simple but very important aspects like helping their client’s with their debt situation and assisting them to become debt free. In the FPSB survey referred to above being debt-free is most important to consumers globally however it is ignored by most financial advisors.
  • It is also clear from research that receiving a financial plan adds great value. Canadian research showed that 81% of clients with a comprehensive financial plan feel that they are on track with their financial affairs and 62% reported that they have improved their ability to save in the last five years before their retirement.

Research shows that using a financial advisor from a reputable company, who has innate knowledge of financial planning, who uses a clear process, delivers a financial plan, is transparent about their fees and reviews your portfolio at least once a year will improve your finances.

Verso Wealth is an authorised Financial Services Provider with the FSP license no. 46260.

Call us on 021 943 5301 or email us at info@verso-wealth.co.za

Visit our website today at www.verso.co.za

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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)

HAVE YOU CHECKED WHAT YOUR MEDICAL AID SCHEME INCREASE IS FOR 2017?

HAVE YOU CHECKED WHAT YOUR MEDICAL AID SCHEME INCREASE IS FOR 2017?

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In consideration of the 2017 increases that will affect most, if not all, medical schemes, it’s good to know what your plan will now cost you, in comparison to others.

Contact your Verso Health consultant to find out what you’ll be paying in 2017.

Please note: 15 December 2016 is the last day of the freedom of association period for 2016. If you would like to change your medical aid plan or scheme after this date you can do so by contacting your medical aid broker.

Remember to send us the plan you’re on so we can send you the increase details.

Contact your Verso Health Consultant, Sharon Rix if you would like to change your Medical Aid Scheme or find out more information.

Call us on 021 943 5302 or email us at info@verso-health.co.za

Visit our website today at www.verso.co.za

Verso Health is an authorised Financial Services Provider. FSP License no. 45466.

Verso Health is registered with the Council for Medical Schemes. No. ORG4196.

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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTHCARE COVER IN 2017

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTHCARE COVER IN 2017

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– Brought to you by Verso Health

With high increases for all medical aid schemes in 2017, many members change their options to accommodate the sharp increases on premiums.

Even more reason to ensure that you have cover in place in the event of hospitalisation.

Stratum Benefits cover the gap that exists between what your medical scheme pays and the fee charged for private healthcare. Be sure to get the very best medical shortfall cover you need and the service excellence you deserve.

As your forthright leading medical shortfall specialist, we engineer our products to not only fit, but benefit you and your lifestyle to ensure your medical shortfall is covered.

Stratum Benefits has broadened their scope with the launch of a brand-new product:

Dental Assure

The DENTAL ASSURE option has been cleverly arranged to provide you with essential cover whether you belong to a medical scheme or not.

From basic and affordable dental benefits to specialised dentistry and eye care, you can rest assured that your leading medical shortfall specialist has you covered from as little as R108 per month for the basic dentistry cover for a family of 4.

The specialised dentistry option provides cover for both basic dentistry and a wide range of specialised dentistry, including but not limited to crowns, implants and orthodontic treatment up to R17000 per person. A general 6 month waiting period will apply to specialised dentistry.

Please contact Verso Health for more information.

You have until 12 December 2016 to change your medical aid if you would like to do so.

In consideration of the 2017 increases that will affect most, if not all, medical schemes, it’s good to know what your plan will now cost you, in comparison to others.

Contact your Verso Health consultant to find out what you’ll be paying in 2017.

Remember to send us the plan you’re on so we can send you the increase details.

Call us on 021 943 5302 or email us at info@verso-health.co.za

Visit our website today at www.verso.co.za

Verso Health is an authorised Financial Services Provider. FSP License no. 45466.

Verso Health is registered with the Council for Medical Schemes. No. ORG4196.

verso-health-logo

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)

MEDICAL AID INCREASES 2017

MEDICAL AID INCREASES 2017

discoveryContribution Increase for 2017

A Weighted average between 7.8% and 14.9%

Plan option Increase 2017
Executive 11.9%
Comprehensive 11.9%
Priority 9.9%
Saver 9.9%
Coastal saver 7.8%
Smart plan 9.9%
Coastal core 14.9%
Core 9.9%
Keycare 9.9%


Discovery Health Focuses in 2017

1. Increasing contributions equitably across its membership base without compromising on benefits

2. Expanding the Smart series with access to the Classic Smart plan and Essential Smart Plan for only R1100 per month – 24 % more affordable than the competitor

3. Unique and enhanced benefits for the Classic/Essential Smart include:

  • Unlimited GP consultations
  • Acute medicine benefit
  • Dental check-up
  • Eye test
  • Sports injury benefit
  • Screening and prevention benefits
  • Extended Smart provider and hospital network

4. Coastal Saver medical savings account changed from 25% to 20 % annual MSA.

5. Targeted benefits for at-risk members:

  • Enhanced individualise approach to the Screening and Prevention Benefit,
  • Health check benefits for members with results that are out of range for their glucose and cholesterol tests.
  • Breast cancer and cervical cancer screening with one mammogram or breast MRI test per year, annual Pap smear and BRCA testing (once off).


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What’s new in 2017?

The average 2017 contribution increase announced for Momentum Health members is 11%.

Momentum Health has maintained medical scheme benefits (and increased limits) in line with its strategy not to reduce members’ access to benefits.

One of the client-centric healthcare offerings from Momentum that serves to complement the medical scheme experience is its Health Returns offering. In conjunction with Multiply, Momentum’s rewards and wellness programme, it will enable greater monetary rewards (of up to R2 000 per family per month) and more choice in terms of how and on what clients spend these monthly rewards to enhance their health and state of wellness.

Extending healthcare cover to staff and domestic workers will form part of the holistic, client-centric healthcare solutions available from Momentum during 2017.

Ingwe Option:

1. Major Medical Benefits

  • The overall annual limit will be increased to R1 190 000 per family.
  • Annual sub-limits for in-hospital benefits have also been increased.


2. Chronic and Day-to-day Benefits

  • Out-of-network GP, casualty or after hours visits – co-payment will be R100 per visit and no longer 10% of the event.
  • Chronic and Day-to-day benefits will continue to be provided by the Ingwe Primary Care Network or Ingwe Active Primary Care Network providers


Custom Option:

1. Major Medical Benefits

  • Annual sub-limits for in-hospital benefits will be increased, except for oncology.
  • The Custom Option co-payment that applies per authorisation will increase to R1 200.
  • Co-payments payable for the specialist referral procedures/treatment will increase to R500 per authorisation if the procedure/treatment is performed out-of-hospital. If the procedure/treatment is performed in-hospital, the co-payment will be increased to R1 200. An additional R700 co-payment will apply if you do not obtain an appropriate GP referral
  • The costs of anaesthetists for gastroscopies and colonoscopies will be covered up to R425, subject to pre-authorisation.


2. Chronic Benefits

  • Chronic Benefits are still subject to registration and Scheme authorisation. If you are currently registered for a chronic condition, please remember that scripts are valid for 6 months and you need to submit a new script to us and your pharmacy once your script expires.
  • Remember that you need to obtain your chronic benefit from your chosen chronic benefit provider.


3. Health Platform Benefits

  • The additional free early detection and preventative care benefits available on the Health Platform continue in 2017.
  • Your international emergency cover will increase to R7.66 million for 2017.

 

bonitas

Why Bonitas?

An average premium increase of 11.9% announced across all plan options.

Research amongst consumers showed a need for more options with more traditional benefits.

Structural changes have been made to Standard and Standard Select and a brand new option BONCOMPLETE has been launched for 2017.

  • Standard and Standard Select: savings account has been removed and has been changed to Day-to-day benefits
  • Separate benefits not impacting on utilisation


BONCOMPLETE:

  • Savings account and above threshold benefit
  • Additional benefit for basic dentistry
  • Cover for 31 chronic conditions
  • Childhood illness. Infant paediatric and maternity benefits
  • Annual wellness screening and R1450 for Wellness Extender
  • No co-payments for CT and MRI’s
  • Contributions from R2923 for principal member


Contact us:

Call us on 021 943 5302 or email us at info@verso-health.co.za

Visit our website for more information: www.verso.co.za

INTRODUCING VERSO SPOTLIGHT

INTRODUCING VERSO SPOTLIGHT

Find us: Facebook, Twitter or Email.

I am extremely proud to announce the launch of our quarterly newsletter, Verso Spotlight.

As part of the Verso Online Community, you will receive our highly informative newsletters and other notifications that will include:

  • Interesting financial, health, wealth and business related articles relevant to our field of services and expertise;
  • Information concerning our Group and the various Companies’ activities.

In this edition we will introduce Verso Agri Consult and the Verso InTouch mobile app. We also share steps on how to achieve financial freedom and optimising your medical aid scheme benefits.

We hope you enjoy these insights on the various topics and we invite you to share your comments on our blog page.

Yours sincerely,

Christi Franken

Group Chief Executive

Verso

 

A BLOOMING BUSINESS

A BLOOMING BUSINESS

Through the launch of Verso Agri Consult earlier this year, Verso pro-actively expanded into the agricultural development sector to contribute to the innovative initiatives in farming and by-product expansion.

Food sources have become one of the most important issues of our time. The World Bank has estimated that the agri-business market in Africa will reach $1 trillion (being three times the current market) by 2030. New technologies in the agricultural sector are paving the way for innovative solutions to the environmental challenges faced.

The core purpose of Verso Agri Consult is to identify new farming techniques that will be sustainable in today’s changing environment. The approach of the Verso Agri Consult team is to assist farmers in the Southern African region to adapt their crops to suit  the changing environment.

Verso Agri Consult managing director, Jorrie Mulder, understands the issues farmers are faced with, and is implementing novel practices to assist farmers. “Climate change is affecting many areas of farming and as such all crop types are being affected.“ We cannot use the same approach as we have done in the past because the conditions simply are no longer the same,” explains Jorrie.

Jorrie has more than 15 years’ experience working with various types of produce and has seen first-hand the major problems faced by South African farmers. This is what has led him to develop new solutions for tackling these concerns. “The company is solution driven, so when a client comes to us our main focus is to find the best possible solution for their business” adds Jorrie.

Verso Agri Consult services clients across the industry. This includes sourcing produce for supermarket retailers, assisting farmers to plan and to setup new crops (be they small or large). The company is also lending its input to the rapidly expanding business of by-product development, which extends the use of produce to creating oils, creams and environmental household products.

– by Wouter Hugo

If you would like to find out more on Verso Agri Consult and the services they offer, you can do so by visiting our website. To contact our agricultural consulting team, click here.

For cited sources, click here.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)