Solomons Fund Reports Increased Member Contributions

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16 percent increase amounted close to $179.9 million for 2012

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 14, 2012) – The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund has recorded an increase in members’ contribution, according to the fund’s 2012 annual financial report.

The report said contributions have increased at almost 16 percent from June 2012.

"Members contributions increased to SB$1.331 billion [US$179.9 million] at 30th June 2012 from SB$1.148 billion [US$155.1 million] in the previous year, an increase of almost 16 percent."

This includes 2012 incoming contributions which increased to SB$190.9 million [US$25.8 million] from SB$161.6 million [US$21.8 million] the previous year.

On the other hand, member withdrawals declined to SB$71.4 million [US$9.6 million] from 2011 level of SB$79.3 million [US$10.7 million], indicating member preference to keep their savings with the fund.

Net contributions (incoming contributions less member withdrawals) therefore surged to SB$119.5 million [US$16.1 million] in 2012 from 2011 level of SB$82.3 million [US$11.1 million], the report revealed.

This is so whilst there is a strong cash receipt from investing activities – rentals, interest and dividends.

Investment portfolio recorded the highest increase in the fund’s recent past of 17.5 percent to surge from SB$1.228 billion [US$165.9 million] in 2011 to SB$1.443 billion [US$194.9 million] in 2012.

The fund’s income remained firm in 2012 at SB$137.9 million [US$18.6 million], a slight increase of 1.8 percent on 2011 level of SB$135.6 million [US$18.3 million].

The report said an interest rate of 6 percent was credited to member balances in 2012 for a value of SB$64.0 million [US$8.6 million] with a balance of SB$24.64 million [US$3.3 million] to general reserves.

General reserves increased to SB$74.41 million [US$10 million] to support the fund’s compulsory crediting rate of 2.5 percent of global and domestic economic downturn.

The annual reports, which include the 2011 and 2012, have been officially handed over to the Finance Minister Rick Hou yesterday.

It will then be taken to parliament for deliberation before they become public documents.

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