Business owners to prepare for retirement reforms

Updated on 2 February 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (2 February)

Payroll administrators need to start preparing their business systems, processes and workforces for the implementation of the National Treasury’s long-awaited retirement reforms during the next tax year (2016-2017).

That’s according to Rob Cooper, tax expert and director at Sage HR and Payroll. He says that the reforms will have a significant impact on how employers calculate employees’ take-home pay and the tax that they need to pay. The changes will take effect from 1 March 2016.

Under the new tax regime, all retirement fund types will be treated in the same way. An employer’s contribution towards any pension, provident or retirement annuity fund will be treated as a taxable fringe benefit for the employee.

The total contribution of the employee and the employer will be tax deductible, up to a limit of the lesser of R350 000 pa or 27.5% of annual remuneration. The value of the fringe benefit will depend on whether the fund is a defined benefit or contribution fund. Most employees will take home slightly more money each month as a result of the changes.

South Korea and Japan have widest pay gap across developed nations 

Research by the OECD has revealed the pay gaps across some of the world’s developed countries. A pay gap is defined as the difference between male and female earnings as a percentage of male earnings. The countries with the most pronounced gender pay gaps are in Asia – South Korea where men outearn women by 37% and Japan at 27%.

The three countries with the smallest pay gap are New Zealand (5.6%), Spain (8.6%) and Italy (11.1%). The US and UK sit in the middle of the rankings with 17.9% and 17.5% respectively (Forbes)

Uber seeing growth in SA

Uber is pleased with its growth in South Africa which is the first country outside of the US that it operates in three cities at the same time, with more than 2 000 work opportunities created for its drivers.

According to regional general manager of Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, Uber is doing tens of thousands of trips per day.

“South Africa is a really great example of Uber’s growth in a marketplace. In 2014 we helped facilitate more than one million trips and doubled that number in the first half of 2015,” says Lits. (Memeburn)

Pretoria is the biggest provider of free Wi-Fi in SA

More than 1 million unique users have accessed the free Wi-Fi service since its launch in 2013, which is a collaboration between the city of Tshwane together with Project Isizwe.

Blessing Manale, the spokesperson for the capital city, confirms the milestone.

“The city has successfully rolled out the first phase of its free Wi-Fi to residents and students in Tshwane at open public spaces in line with its long-term plan to provide free Wi-Fi to all government educational institutions in Tshwane by 2016, and to embrace digital technologies of education and economic upliftment,” says Manale.

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