A one day hearing into the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) (Amendment) Bill 2018 which provides for a new voluntary pension scheme to be operated by SINPF was successfully held last Friday, 28th September 2018 at the National Parliament House.
This was after BLC completed its two weeks hearing into the Traditional Governance and Custom Facilitation Bill 2018 from Tuesday 18th September to Wednesday 26th September 2018.
The SINPF (Amendment) Bill 2018 allows those in the informal employment to also save for retirement. This saving scheme is called the YouSAVE, a new voluntary pension scheme to be operated by NPF.
This new scheme improves the financial inclusion of pension savings in Solomon Islands and is supported by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme. Other amendments are also made to bolster the financial stability of the Special Death Benefit entitlement to NPF members.
Currently the special death benefit yearly premium has not been updated in over 40 years and is currently set too low for the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund to provide an appropriate Special Death Benefit to its members.
The amendments will update the special death benefit premium and other monetary amounts specified in the Act that have been eroded by inflation over the last 40 years which no longer appropriately reflect an appropriate monetary amount.
These amendments to the NPF Act will also change the timing for the declaration of the yearly interest to be credited to members’ accounts.
The amendments will change the timing from the end of the financial year which is in June, to three months after the end of the financial year which is the end of September.
This will allow the SINPF to make the decision of how much interest to credit to members’ accounts based on audited financial accounts, rather than on unaudited accounts that could change.
This change aims to improve the financial soundness of SINPF decision – making.
Those who appeared before the BLC on Friday include:
- Ministry of Finance and Treasury
- Solomon Islands National Provident Fund
- Legal Draftsperson
- Central Bank of Solomon Islands
- Law Reform Unit
- The Credit Union league
- SI-National Council of Women
- Women’s Group Representatives and
- Solomon Islands Women In Business Association
- Indigenous Business Representatives