Despite the country’s weakened economy and impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic Nasfund recorded a 2% increase in contribution receipts totaling K575 million compared to K564 million received in 2019. The Fund had budgeted K624 million on the back of a number of aggressive growth action plans and initiatives however these were shelved after State of Emergency and government interventions to stop the spread of COVID were imposed in mid March 2020.
Conversely Nasfund paid a total of K469 million to members equating to over 90,000 transactions in 2020. This was a 22% increase compared to K383 million paid out in 2019 and around 72,000 transactions. Unemployment withdrawals constituted 87% of total paid out, followed by housing advances with 7% of total payout and the balance under retirement, death, transfer and migration.
Net contributions continued to be positive which was a good sign with a surplus of K106 million available for new investments.
CEO Ian Tarutia said “During this period of uncertainty, a lot of our employers had to take drastic action to keep afloat. Labour shedding and workforce rationalizing were initiatives taken by employers to remain operational during the COVID State of Emergency imposed last year. Additionally, fall in Oil Prices and the closure of Porgera Mine impacted companies like Oilsearch and Barrick Joint Venture and resulted in a large number of employees being laid off.
As a consequence, while this placed pressure on our member services due to the increased volume of applications and enquiries, I am pleased to inform we paid all clean applications as and when they became due. On this note I commend our staff for their professionalism and empathy to meet member demands, during these trying times. I also acknowledge those members opting to not withdraw all their savings, managing themselves through other means and retaining a portion for their future benefit.”
Mr Tarutia also cautioned that while withdrawals in 2020 were managed well, if Porgera was not opened in the foreseeable future and other major resource projects were not off the ground to stimulate the economy, more job losses will occur and we could expect a spike in withdrawals this year that could exceed what we paid in 2020.