Bounce back from Retrenchment

Retrenchments and layoffs have become an increasingly common event for South African workers in the shadow of an unstable economy.

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If you’ve been retrenched, you might be wondering what you can do to improve your circumstances.

It’s not easy, however here are a few pointers:

1. Review your budget and organise your finances : Examine how your budget will be affected by your retrenchment. You may need to alter it to fit your current circumstances. Are there any superfluous costs you can eliminate?

2. Contact your creditors immediately : A lack of income may mean that you are unable to afford loan payments or retail account payments, which can have an impact on your credit rating. Inform your creditors of the change in your financial condition. Check to see if you can work out a different payment arrangement. Check to discover whether you have retrenchment insurance that will pay some or all of what you owe.

3. Preserve your pension fund : Avoid the temptation to cash in your corporate pension fund if you have one. Transfer it to a preservation fund or a retirement annuity instead. If you withdraw your assets, you will be taxed, which will have an impact on your capacity to meet your retirement income demands once you retire.

4. Claim UIF : You can apply for and receive UIF benefits if you contributed to a fund while working. You must apply within six months after being laid off. You can file a claim from the day you quit working until your benefits run out or you return to work.

5. Reduce your bank costs : You can use banking channels that are free or less expensive than cash withdrawals from ATMs. Because cash has certain hidden expenses, consider using Remote Banking to save time and money.

6. Assess yourself : Were you retrenched for something you didn’t do well? Make a note of it as an area that needs improvement. Review your professional objectives. Consider what type of job you desire or whether you want one at all. Could your side business become a full-time opportunity?

7. Update your CV: You may not have kept your CV up to date while working. Use your downtime to accomplish this. If you have the funds, this would be an excellent time to return to school and do that short online course you’ve been considering.

“The sudden loss of a job is more than just an economic hardship. A drastic life change often ushers in intense emotional responses, such as stress, anxiety, depression and a blow to your self-esteem. In these trying times, understanding the psychological impact of unemployment and knowing where to seek help is important in addition to understanding the logistics of how to proceed.”

Dr Linda Meyer, MD of The Independent Institute of Education’s Rosebank College

To read the full article, visit: “Bounce back from retrenchment.

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