CTSL Statutory Manager, Sitiveni Waleilakeba, said currently the Fund cannot grow significantly due to its current membership, which by law is limited to members of the PNG Defence Force.
Waleilkeba said the opening up of membership is subject to legislation changes which they will address this year.
“We want the membership of the fund to open up and that is subject to legislation changes which we are hoping to address this year, schedule 6. Remember right now the membership does not allow us to grow very much, because of the numbers. So the only option for us is either we merge with bigger funds, or run on our own but increase portfolio by increasing membership,” said Waleilakeba.
“So the key to our growth is basically, we want to make sure that the members, we open up membership, to ensure that we increase our membership so that there is enough money in the kitty to grow.”
CTSLE CEO, Charlie Gilichibi clarified that the DFRBF is made up of two schemes. An Accumulation and a Defined Benefit or Pension scheme.
He said the accumulation scheme is Governed by the Superannuation Act while the pension scheme is Governed by the Defence Force Retirement Benefit Act.
“Under the accumulation scheme, as governed within the Superannuation Act, we can already invite employers outside of the Defence Force to come and join only that scheme. The pension scheme is only locked down to Defence Force, nobody else can come and join that.”
“Thanks to the Statutory Manager and, we also got two legal opinions, all agreeing with what we think, that yes we can already go ahead and invite employers outside and to come and join the DFRBF accumulation scheme,” said Gilichibi.
Waleilakeba said they will undertake a few changes before opening up membership.
This involves the changing of the funds constitution, which is currently under review by the Central Bank and the rebranding of Fund.
“The other component that we got to be very careful of is the branding. Because now the face is no longer green because we have expanded, we’ve got to take care of the interested party, not the original members. So the question of branding is also important in this case so, which allows us to be broader in terms of our capability to draw new members and the new members will identify differently from these logo behind us. So those are the two hurdles that we’ve got to go through to make sure that the new members are not being biased. One is rebranding and one is if course the constitution, we need to change the constitution to suit a broader audience,” said Waleilakeba.