Nasfund Chief Executive Officer Ian Tarutia says COVID-19 has created opportunities for superannuation funds to look at benefits and services such as housing and health cover or facilities for members.
“COVID-19 prevention and containment requires distancing from one another. This is a problem for our members as a majority do not have their own homes and live with extended family.
Secondly, we are already experiencing the inadequacies of our current health system, as COVID-19 transmission rates escalate throughout the country.
We already know how to grow members wealth, we have been doing this successfully since 2000 through late Sir Mekere’s superannuation reforms.
Now it is timely to look at how we can assist members with quality homes they can afford. Not just release some of their retirement savings for housing, but provide a whole house, land package. The target audience will be first home buyers only.
We should also be looking at investments in the health sector to look after members and their families when they are ill. A lot of our members are dying from preventable diseases. What is the point of savings for retirement when their health cannot be looked after?”
Mr Tarutia said these are issues he will be taking up with his Board, industry colleagues and the regulator Bank of Papua New Guinea this year.