Thursday 29 January, 2015
NASFUND pays out record amounts to Members
National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) has released figures showing the volume of transactions processed by its Member Services division in 2014.
Last year the FUND paid out just under Three Hundred and Forty Eight Million Kina (K347,676,837) to its members across unemployment, retirement and housing advance categories allowed under the Superannuation (General Provisions) Act 2000.
The leading category was Unemployment (full exit) where the FUND paid K161.85 Million to 21,090 members who left employment permanently. An additional K83 Million was paid in 52,152 partial withdrawals to members who found themselves out of employment but who still were attempting to find further work.
988 retirees were paid a total of K56.16 Million whilst just over K5 Million was paid out for disability/medical discharge and a further K15.31 Million released for death benefits.
2047 members also received a total of K23.38 Million in housing advances.
This was anticipated in 2013, with CEO Ian Tarutia identifying slowing GDP growth, the wind down of the PNG LNG construction phase and low commodity prices as factors contributing to pressure in the economy and job redundancies. These combined with the restructure within certain state owned enterprises contributed to the record volume of transactions for the past year.
To address the increased demand on the FUND and to ensure the integrity of members’ funds a number of projects were initiated during the year and are ongoing. These include:
- The opening of an additional branch in downtown Port Moresby to cater for increased foot traffic
- Planning for the expansion of the branch office in Lae
- Opening of a new branch in Manus
- Commencement of the implementation of a new ERP platform to upgrade the core business and financial systems
- Upgrade of network security systems
- Upgrade of network connections to the 15 branches and one service centre around the country
- Planning for the upgrade of the core superannuation system provided by Aon Hewitt, NASFUND’s back office Fund Administrator.
- Upgrade of the website and expansion of the TextBal system to make information more accessible to members
- Ongoing education process for members to understand the importance of long term savings to provide for comfortable living in the later years of life after active employment.
Like all other financial institutions in PNG, NASFUND is not immune to attempts at fraud and has had to address these challenges. By upgrading its systems and processes, and with the addition of new staff within Operations, the FUND was still able to adequately service its 488,000 members throughout the country despite the heighted vigilance.
This has led to longer processing times in some cases, however the FUND stressed its highest priority of protecting members’ funds, and ensuring that payouts are made the rightful recipients within the law.
CEO Ian Tarutia assured the Fund membership, that its primary objective of growing their retirement savings, being accessible and delivering timely services remained a number one priority.
[Photo caption: NASFUND Client Service Centre in Boroko]
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