SNPF to target seasonal workers for voluntary membership
The Samoa National Provident Fund (SNPF) will target citizens who are engaged in the seasonal workers scheme abroad in a bid to increase its voluntary member contributions.
Some of these goals were highlighted in the SNPF Annual Report for the Financial Year 2018-2019.
According to the organisation's Annual Report for the Financial Year 2018-2019, the number of active members in the Samoa National Provident Fund (SNPF) has increased to 32,709.
The number of active members in the SNPF has remained consistent over the years at 32,582 to the previous year. Though, there was a drop in voluntary members.
“The number of inactive members has been consistent over the years showing gradual growth from 2011 to 2018. However, there was a slight drop in voluntary members from 35 to 33.
The SNPF has also vowed to increase its voluntary membership and picked out the seasonal workers scheme as areas of focus for the management in the next financial year.
“This is a group of fund is actively trying to increase, and as such a partnership with the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been established so that workers going to New Zealand – under the seasonal workers scheme or the Christchurch Rebuild Effort – will register as voluntary workers. Voluntary contribution is an area where a lot more emphasis will be given in the coming financial year.”
The annual report also indicated that the number of employers contributing to the SNPF stood at 1902 compared to 1711 in the previous financial year – which is an increase of 11 per cent. A total of 197 new employers also registered in this financial year, with some employers struggling to meet their obligations in paying employee contributions. Despite the challenge most have amended and are paying off their outstanding in instalments.
“In recovering outstanding contributions, the fund places importance on building relationships with employers so that there is a mutual effort to remedy the situation.
“However, when the employers have significant outstanding in addition to being non-responsive then these matters are handled by the Legal Department to ensure all legal avenues are explored to ensure members interests are protected,” stated the report.
The members contributions collected in the financial year totalled $79.1 million – which was an increase of 3 per cent – compared to $76.9 million in the previous year. The fund is currently reviewing the contribution percentage for both workers and employers with a view to increase it in the next financial year.