Covid-19 Relief Withdrawal
Members who become unemployed directly or indirectly due to Covid-19 measures, such as lockdowns, will be eligible to apply for a one-off withdrawal of 20% of their own contributions up to a maximum of K10,000. This amount will be tax-free to the member.
Members who are still employed, will not be eligible for this relief payment.
Super’s primary purpose is to help you enjoy a comfortable retirement when you’ve finished working. However, in these unique circumstances, this temporary measure will offer much-needed support to those most impacted.
Accessing your super should only be a last resort. History shows it’s much better to leave it invested if you can. If you have other support and means to get by, you should use all other measures first.
A specific form for the Covid-19 relief payment has been developed. Members will need to complete the form, including having the employer verification section completed by their former employer, similar to normal benefits.
Regulatory changes have also been passed through Parliament and Nambawan Super is waiting for it be Gazetted to make COVID-19 relief payments lawful.
If a member remains unemployed after 3 months, they will be eligible to receive a monthly unemployment payment equivalent to 50% of their last monthly salary which is already provided for under the Superannuation General Provisions Act.
Frequently Asked Question on the Covid-19 relief payment
What is the Covid-19 relief payment?
Nambawan Super and the Government is facilitating financial assistance for affected members who lose their employment directly due to Covid-19.
Members who become unemployed directly due to Covid-19 measures can apply for a one-off payment of 20% of their own contributions up to a maximum of K10,000.00. This amount would be tax-free to the member.
Who will be eligible for Covid-19 relief payment?
The relief payment will be made available only for members who have lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19.
Members who are still employed, will not be eligible for this relief payment.
How do I access the Covid-19 relief payment?
A specific form for the Covid-19 relief payment has been developed.
Members will need to complete the form, including the employer verification section completed by their former employer, similar to normal benefits.
What if I am still unemployed and need more funds?
If a member remains unemployed after 3months, they will be eligible to receive a monthly unemployment payment equivalent to 50% of their last monthly salary which is already provided for under the Superannuation (General Provisions) Act 2000 (Super Act).
When will this Covid-19 relief payment be accessible for affected members?
Nambawan Super is waiting for regulatory changes to be passed through Parliament to make Covid-19 relief payments lawful. This is expected to happen quickly. Nambawan Super has already commenced work including preparing new forms and making changes to the operational side of benefit payments once changes in the Super Act are complete.
Is the Covid-19 relief payment government funded?
No – the Covid-19 relief payment is a withdrawal from the member’s superannuation account. Taking a relief payment will reduce your balance and will reduce your future interest earnings, and make it harder to achieve a good retirement outcome from your account.
The primary purpose of superannuation is to help you enjoy a comfortable retirement when you’ve finished working. However, in these unique circumstances, this temporary measure will offer some support to those most impacted.
Accessing your super should be a last resort. History shows it’s much better to leave it invested if you can. If you have other support and means to get by, you should use all other measures first.
Nambawan Super's message to members about Covid-19 and superannuation
Right now Papua New Guinea is feeling the impact of a global health crisis.
This year a new disease, Coronavirus or Covid-19, has been affecting social and now economic conditions globally as many countries take steps to slow or stop the spread of this new disease.
The PNG Government is making decisions that will impact our members, both socially and financially, to try to protect the people of PNG and make sure Covid-19 doesn’t take hold here as it has in other countries.
These are important measures that could keep PNG free of this new virus. However, these measures, like forced shut downs and business closures, will be felt in PNG as it being felt around the world.
Nambawan Super continues to actively monitor and manage our investments, however the economic climate is under strain all around the world and this will put a strain on our assets and investments. In terms of investments and returns, our teams are monitoring investment options, and based on what is occurring world-wide, are preparing for the toughest year in Nambawan Super’s history.
How is Nambawan Super responding to the situation?
Nambawan Super is considering the social, economic and operational impacts for the Fund.
We are liaising with the State and cooperating with PNG’s financial institutions to support economic stability where we can. The existing Superannuation General Provisions Act remains with no special Covid-19 regulations to apply to accessing superannuation savings.
As per the existing regulations, if members become unemployed they are able to access a portion of their savings after a period of 3-months unemployment. We are preparing our workforce to deliver services through a range of remote working arrangements, to protect our staff from any health risks.
Before going into a Nambawan Super branch we encourage all members to call us on our new free call number 180 1599, for assistance with all enquiries.
To protect both staff and members within our branches we are introducing measures to socially distance people. Depending on the branch size these measures may include:
- limiting the number of members in a branch at any time
- asking members to step back from counters to maintain greater than 1.5 metres between staff and members and
- staff members wearing masks or other protective equipment.
Branches and Call Centre helping members
Based on advice from the Government financial services, including Nambawan Super, are an essential service. Therefore, our branches and call centre remain open to assist our members. In some provinces our branch may not be able to open due to local conditions.
Nambawan Super recommends members contact us on free call 180 1599 for assistance with all enquiries.
Is there anything I should do about my superannuation?
At this time, we remind our members that superannuation is a long-term investment.
What can I do help protect myself and my family from Covid-19?*
Take action to prevent contact with the virus.
- Stay 1.5 metres from others, especially in enclosed spaces.
- Do not shake or hold hands or hug and kiss your friends when greeting and saying goodbye.
- Reduce the number of people in your home, ask wantoks to return to the village.
- Wash your hand before you eat or drink, or prepare a meal.
- Cover your cough! Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a single use tissue. Dispose of tissues in bins or burn immediately.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth.
- Keep your work place and home clean, clean all surfaces.
Buai and spitting
- Wash buai before peeling.
- Do not share lime or mustard.
- Do not spit in public areas. If you spit in a bottle ensure it is properly disposed of.
Take action if sick
- If you have a fever or a new dry cough seek medical attention. Other symptoms may include sore throat, feeling tired, coughing phlegm, headache or breathing difficulties. If you have any of these symptoms seek medical attention.
- Reduce contact between someone who is sick and other people living in your home.
- Treat people who become sick with kindness – it is not their fault they became sick.
- Call the PNG Health Hotline is you think you have Covid-19 on +675 7196 0813 or free call 180 0200.
Nambawan Super is not a medical expert and does not make any claim regarding Covid-19. Furthermore, Nambawan Super does not distribute medical advice to staff, members and/or clients. The public are strongly advised to professional medical advice from appointed authorities.