Chamber to meet P.M. over S.N.P.F. increase

The Samoa Chamber of Commerce has made two submissions to the Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) over the increase to mandatory contributions since the policy was announced in April.

The increase to 10 per cent over the next three years has been approved by Cabinet.

Chamber President, Jennifer Ula Fruean, told the Chamber membership that as well as the two submissions, the Executive met senior S.N.P.F. staff twice and has scheduled a meeting with Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, this week.

Their submission centres around the private sector's sentiments that the announced increase was short notice as the first increment goes into effect on July 1.

They are also concerned about how affordable the increase is for the private sector, and that the increase is poorly timed with discussions on a proposed minimum wage increase also on the table.

“At this stage we have yet to receive a formal response from the Government on those proposed recommendations, to stage the implementation of the proposed changes, other than that the legislation has been progressed to Parliament,” Ms Fruean said.

While the first 1 per cent increase goes into effect in two weeks, the executive intends to try affect the July 2020 and 2021 one per cent increases.

“We will continue to push for discussions on the effectiveness on the last two per cent,” she said.

“Unfortunately, it is one of the legislations we understand affects all the private businesses, and we have continued to make that discussion with our Government in terms of relooking at options around how that would impact on the private sector."

Fronting a concerned Chamber membership at their meeting in April, C.E.O Pauli said the Fund is happy to work with employers to ease any burden brought on by increased payments, like relaxing payment schedules for some time. 

“Our member’s team are more than happy to provide assistance to each and every one of our employer members, to be able to ensure that this change is done in a way that doesn’t affect you all at once, which is something we are already doing for our employer members.”

The Fund is making the change to provide for the future, Pauli added, for employees especially. While deductions will affect take home pay, they enable better living in retirement, as well as access to finance over the course of one’s lifetime.

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