In announcing the Special cash payment to the 85,000 Fund contributors last Friday, Finance Minister Sili Epa Tuioti said the one-off benefit will stimulate the economy which is showing signs of slowing down as a result of the measles crisis.
He said it was an initiative by the Fund’s Board of Directors.
“Tourism the main stay of our economy is feeling the impact with visitors cancelling their end of the year holidays in Samoa,” said Sili.
“Family reunions which peaks at this time of the year is also in jeopardy and ultimately the 1.1% cash pay-out should be welcoming help to members as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.”
And for the Fund, SNPF Chief Executive Pauli Prince Shuren the assistance is to reassure contributors that the Fund is mindful of the financial challenges associated with the crisis.
“It’s a Christmas Present from the SNPF and to reassure our contributors that there is hope,” said Pauli.
Close to 3,000 contributors withdrew the cash pay-out in the first day (Monday) when the assistance opened this morning.
And to assist with efforts to eradicate measles, the policy banning contributors from bringing their children under 19 years old to the three SNPF locations in Apia, Vaitele and Salelologa to process their dividends is still enforced.
December 24th or Christmas Eve is the deadline for members to withdraw the cash pay-outs.
In total, the SNPF will be spending $7.8 to finance its Christmas presents for its members.
Photo by Digicel Samoa Caption: Samoa National Provident Fund building in Apia