National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) Chief Operating Officer, Warwick Vele, says they are experiencing a high number of withdrawals being carried out in almost all provinces across the country.
Vele explained that the downturn in the economy has seen a lot of employers lay off workers. Employees who are not able to find another job quickly turn to withdrawing their savings, as it is their last resort.
The Chief Operating Officer made these remarks following the opening of a new NASFUND office at Lae’s top town today.
Morobe province has about 115,000 NASFUND members and about 325 employers out of the 540,000 strong membership across the country.
This is the biggest number of members based in Morobe. However, the withdrawal rate both in Morobe and in the other provinces is still high.
Vele says they also provide counselling to members who apply for withdrawals. This initiative is to encourage members who are young, fit and still of working age to try and save their money for life after retirement.
Meanwhile, the opening of the new office facility is one of the efforts taken by the super fund to address concerns raised by their members.
The changes include the increase in the number of staff, delegation of responsibilities from the headquarters to the branch manager and the staff at Lae, and to provide training to the staff in order to better serve their members.
Apart from NASFUND’s efforts in addressing concerns raised by its members, their biggest focus now is going into rural areas to encourage and promote the culture of saving.