Tarutia calls for universal coverage

Papua New Guinea should look at Universal Coverage for anyone earning an income to contribute to superannuation.

President of the Association of Superannuation Funds of  Papua New Guinea (ASFPNG) and National Superannuation Fund CEO, Ian Tarutia, said this recently.

Tarutia said the current legislation only allows business who employ more than 15 people to contribute to superannuation.

He said this should be changed so that anyone earning any form of income and paying tax must contribute superannuation for retirement years down the line.

“We should do away with that and look at universal coverage. As long as your earning some form of income, you’re registered with the tax office, then you attract superannuation because superannuation is for the individuals benefit,” he said.

Tarutia said this should be part of a legislative review of the Superannuation Act which is currently 16 years old.

He said review was to keep up to date with circumstances that superannuation funds operate today in.

One of which he says is to specify the purpose of superannuation and what it should be.

He said currently Superannuation are almost like de facto banks where legislation has features for early access of funds, such as unemployment and partial withdrawal.

Tarutia also said the definition of what constitutes wages must be looked as well as the proper calculation of superannuation contributions so that employers do not cheat employees who are members of superannuation.

He said this should be considered following the 2017 National Elections.

Picture: Loop file photo

Cedric Patjole