Chamber cautions super fund review bid

National, Normal

The National- Thursday, February 3, 2011

 THE Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reacted cautiously to the recent announcement by Nambawan Super asking for a review of the Superannuation General Act 2000.

Business was always cautious when such surprise announcements pop up in the newspapers, and there seemed to be no indication that the other major player, Nasfund, which represented most of our workers, was in total agreement with the call for change, the chamber said in a statement released yesterday. 

It said: “Reviews are good and, certainly ten years on, it may be timely, but the superannuation industry appears to be extremely healthy and, in fact, during the global financial crisis, the PNG industry out-performed funds in Australia and much of the developed world. 

“Change for the sake of change may be counter-productive. 

“We would like to see more consultation through the wider community before such pronouncements appear in the media. 

“NSL is predominantly public service, so calls to increase employer and employee rates is all very well when you are not paying the actual money. 

“It is our employees and our members who will pay any increase in rates directly out of their wage packets,” the chamber said. 

“The average urban worker is struggling now and a couple of percent in extra super could be something he will not welcome at this juncture. 

“Also, not all businesses are making huge profits from the upcoming L NG project bonanza and its spin-offs.”

The statement said that inflation was also starting to run with costs rising in all areas. 

“Credit is harder to get so, while it is easy to say it is only a few kina  on the individual fortnightly pay packet, in large employers, multiply that by thousands of workers and the money has to come from somewhere.

While it welcomed control of the central bank in the matter, the chamber “urged a considered, consultative approach before any major changes are contemplated”.