Church workers’ fund safe

National, Normal

The National, Friday 14th June 2013


NASFUND yesterday issued an advice on members contributions in the now-defunct Sios Wokman Retirement Savings (SWRS).

A Nasfund official said about 7,000 members’ accounts had been consolidated and funds in the bank were balanced.

The official, who declined to be named, said the transfer from the SWRS, a Lutheran church workers’ benefits fund, to Nasfund, was at the membership registration stage and would be completed next week.

“Hopefully, they should be able to access their personal accounts with Nasfund next month,” the official said.  

He also dismissed concerns raised by a SWRS member about the tax rate on the draw-down of retirement savings. 

Alarmed by a letter published in The National of May 31 titled ‘Unfair to charge 35% tax on super funds’, Rev Dr Numuc Kemung said he was not losing his 30-plus years savings.

Kemung, the post graduate study director at the Martin Luther seminary in Lae, described it as “shocking” and “grossly unfair” to all the hardworking Lutheran church workers. 

“We slave day and night in the bush for years and the little we thought will support us in our retirement will all go to tax,” he said.

However, the Nasfund official said Kemung and other members who contributed 15 years and more would be taxed at the low rate of 2% and not 35% as claimed.

“The 35% taxation rate applies only to members who have contributed less than five years,” he said. 

He said a 15% rate applied to members with a contribution period of five to 10 years and 8% for those between 10 and 15 years.