Lockdown does not mean a shutdown

27 March 2020, By Lelané Bezuidenhout, CFP®

We are in unprecedented times and now more than ever we believe that your clients will be able to experience the true value of financial planning done right. FPI applauds all members for the work that you will be doing during this time in keeping your clients on the right track, at least financially.

Clients are scared and it is our responsibility to prevent them from making mistakes that cannot be reversed once this is over.

More than one member may at this stage be asking: But HOW do we keep our clients on the right track during a lockdown? We refer to an article written by one of our members, Billy Seyffert, CFP® professional and COO of Moonstone Compliance in which he states "Lockdown does not mean a shutdown". We have received permission to share the full article with you.Click here for the full article.

As communicated with you on 17 and 24 March 2020:


In order to support you during this time, FPI has put the following interventions in place:

  • All professional members (CFP®, FSA™ and RFP™) have access to the FPI MyLearning platform. This include 50+ webinars that are and always have been at no additional cost to you as a professional member of the FPI and can assist you in meeting both your FPI and Regulatory CPD. Log onto My Learning to gain access to the mentioned webinars ? see below:

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  • We extended the annual member renewal till 31 May 2020.
  • We moved the FPI annual convention to 27 and 28 October 2020

Important FSCA communications that you MUST take note of:


FSCA Communication 8 of 2020: FSCA extended submission dates for commentary on the Advisory Categorisation and 2nd Investment Related matters discussion documents to 15 May 2020. Please forward any comments that you may have to david@fpi.co.za by 20 April 2020. FPI did release our draft comments to the Advisor Categorisation paper to the member community on Friday 20 March 2020. Click here for the full FSCA communication

FSCA communication 9 of 2020: FSCA extended the due dates for compliance with various regulatory requirements by 3 - 4 months. Attached is the notice whereby the FSCA grants FSP's, key individuals and representatives an additional three months (until 31 August 2020) to meet regulatory CPD requirements for the 2020 CPD cycle. This means that the 2021 regulatory CPD cycle will only be nine (9) months. Click here for the full communication.

FSCA communication 10 of 2020: This is where the FSCA clarifies its interpretation of Rule 1 of 2020 (RF) on the application of Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act, 1956. Click here for the full communication.

FSCA communication 11 of 2020: This relates to a COVID-19 measures in terms of section 13A of the Pension Funds Act, 1956 and financially distressed employers and employees (submission of urgent rule amendments). Click here for the full communication.


Below is also a list of interventions implemented by government due to the COVID-19 lockdown period:

  • Extension of compliance and fit and proper requirements by the FSCA (see above);
  • The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has allocated money to a National Disaster relief fund. Effected employees can claim up to R 3,500 per month;
  • National Treasury has set up an email address where members of the public can send suggestions on how best National Treasury can deal with the COVID-19 virus. This is in support of efforts by the rest of government to ensure interaction with members of the public on the virus. The email address is COVID-19@treasury.gov.za
  • Government has set up the Solidarity Response Fund. The aim of this fund is to offer assistance to assist South Africans affected by the outbreak. Please click here for more info about the fund;
  • With regards to the SMME fund - to assist businesses during this difficult time, the Department of Small Business Development launched a debt relief fund to help mitigate the impact of the economic shutdown cause by COVID-19 on small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs). Please click here for more info on the SMME fund;
  • SARS has provided the following message regarding engagement. Click here to see the full message from SARS;
  • Any employee who falls ill through exposure at their workplace, will be paid through the Compensation Fund;
  • Commercial banks have been exempted from provisions of the Competition Act to enable them to develop common approaches to debt relief and other necessary measures;
  • Using the tax system, government will provide a tax subsidy of up to R500 per month for the next four months for those private sector employees earning below R6 500 under the Employment Tax Incentive. This will help more than four million workers;
  • The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will also work towards accelerating the payment of employment tax incentive reimbursements from twice a year to monthly to get cash into the hands of compliant employers as soon as possible;
  • Tax-compliant businesses with a turnover of less than R50 million will be allowed to delay 20% of their pay-as-you-earn liabilities over the next four months and a portion of their provisional corporate income tax payments without penalties or interest over the next six months. This intervention is expected to assist more than 75 000 small and medium enterprises;

Then one last, but vitally important point:

Guidance on Essential Services

FPI had quite a few members asking if their Financial Planning and/or Financial Advice Practices are seen as essential services as defined in the updated Disaster Management Act regulations. See full Government Gazette on the updated regulations here

"advise may not be regarded as essential services in terms of acquiring exemption from lockdown, but the businesses should remain open to assist customers of financial services in this time of great uncertainty and should be done remotely."
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The above circles back to the above quoted article by Billy and the reminder that a lockdown does not mean a shutdown.

FPI wishes you the best during this lockdown.

And please remember that FPI is still open for business and also operating remotely. You are most welcome to forward any

Please also remember that you can interact with the FPI via our Live chat on www.fpi.co.za and that you can make use of the self service function via your member profile.

Office hours are from 08h00 - 16h30, Mondays to Fridays and our lines are operating (011) 470-6000. We do though recommend that you liaise with us via our online platforms as we only have a limited number of lines available during the lockdown period.

Then than you Kobus Oosthuizen, CFP® and David Kop, CFP® for assisting with this update.

Blessings,


About FPI
The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI), a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised professional body for financial planners, which serves the public by ensuring that people who carry the CFP® designation are qualified, experienced and professional. FPI has recently been approved by the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) as a Recognised Controlling Body (RCB).

The Institute is also recognised internationally and is a founding, and a current affiliate member, of the international Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd (FPSB) based in the USA, along with 25 other affiliate member countries who offer CFP® certification, the highest recognised professional designation worldwide for a financial planning professional. For more, visit www.fpi.co.za or follow @FPISANews.