Super deal gets Barry her dream home


BUILDING a home for life in retirement doesn’t come easy for the majority of employed people in Papua New Guinea. For many it is a dream that’s beyond their reach.
But for Cecilia Barry from Sowam Village in Dagua, East Sepik, this dream came true when she completed her four-bedroom house last year.
Barry’s home is located within the low-cost government compound at Kreer, in the heart of Wewak Town. Her plan, initially, was to build a home at her village but this didn’t happen becuase she comes from a patrilineal society and her brother did not allow her to build there.
But that did not stop Barry from looking elsewhere.  In 2010, she was given the chance to own the low-cost government house she was living in. That was a start while she planned a bigger home for her growing family. She started buying building materials little by little, but that didn’t work out to her expectations because other financial commitments stood in her way.
Barry started work in 1984 with the Works Department, and in 1987 joined PNG Water Board as an admin officer. After 33 years of employment she is now the acting business centre manager in Wewak.
In 2012, Barry came to know about the Nambawan Super Housing Advance Scheme and about how a member could access part of their superannuation to buy building materials.
“I didn’t waste any time,” she said.
“I visited the Nambawan Super office in Wewak and enquired with the friendly staff there.  It only took me a week to gather my supporting documents to attach with my housing advance application and lodge.”
Within 10 working days her application was approved and a cheque made to the hardware supplier and the building materials were picked up. “The Housing Advance is a wonderful idea. It gives people like myself an opportunity to have a suitable home. If it wasn’t for the advance I would not have completed my house. It gave me that opportunity to purchase additional materials too.
“I can now house my family in comfort. With the previous low-cost house we had limited space and only one bedroom. I don’t have to worry about space anymore. I now have enough room to store everything.”
Nambawan Super acting chief executive Vere Arava said workers should look at their retirement savings as an essential investment for a better life during retirement.
Nambawan Super has become the nation’s leading and largest superannuation fund, currently managing over 165,000 members’ retirement benefits from both the private and public sector.  The fund is now worth K6 billion in net assets.

  •  Stella Bita is Senior Publication and Media Officer at Nambawan Super Ltd.