By DALE LUMA
THE superannuation industry is today valued at more than K15 billion, says the president of the Authorised Superannuation Funds of PNG (ASFPNG) Ian Tarutia.
“Nasfund (National Superannuation Fund), Nambawan Super and the superannuation industry as a whole are great examples of the successful financial sector reforms instituted by the Sir Mekere government in 2000,” he said.
“The industry today is valued at over K15 billion – using net asset value as a measure from approximately K300 million pre-2000.”
Tarutia told The National that an inherent feature of superannuation reforms was the strong governance checks and balances built into the superannuation legislation.
“Firstly, the removal of political interference in the appointment of the board and management of superfunds, the appointment of the Bank of PNG as regulator, key decision-makers to be fit and proper persons, outsourcing of key functions such as investments and administration of member funds and transactions to reputable licensed service providers,” he said.
“It also has a strong focus on member services and benefits.
“Members have always received a positive interest credited to their accounts year on year. Audited accounts are completed on time.
“There is a lot of transparency in the way funds are managed for members.
“There is a lot more engagement and communication with members.
“The funds today are very member centric which is the way it should be and a strong focus on member’s interest.”
He said members’ savings had grown through “prudent investments and offering a wide array of services via Section 90 of the Super Act or establishment of financial vehicles such as the savings and loan societies for members”.
Tarutia said there were other challenges.
“Housing is a big issue,” he said.
“Health, medical services and low coverage of superannuation compared to population size.
“At the moment less than 10 per cent of our population (approximately 850,000) are contributing towards their retirement.
“We would like to universal coverage for superannuation.
“Anyone who is working, earning a steady form income should be contributing towards their retirement.
“We would like more people to better understand the concept of long term savings and the benefit of superannuation. We would like to see quality of life improved for members, especially those who have retired after serving the nation or their employers faithfully,” he said.
“By having enough savings available to sustain their twilight years.
“We like to see less tax applied on superannuation payments to members.
“We would also like to see the industry play a more active role in nation building through PPP investments with the State in key infrastructure assets such as telecommunications, power and energy generation, housing, ports and water to name a few.”
By DALE LUMA