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By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) youSave Retirement Scheme for self-employed or those in informal sectors has attracted 18,858 members to date.

This was an increase from 5,414 members that registered since the launch of the scheme from November 2019 to 8th September 2020.

Initially an average daily registration of 23 new youSave members registered per day has increased to 316 currently.

The current net contribution of the total registration of members is $14.5 million from $1.542 million since the inception of the scheme.

This was initially based on the total deposits of 40,126 with a daily deposit of 125 with an average of $38.43.

SINPF General Manager Mike Wate told reporters yesterday that with the removal of the previous 10% tax and the reduction to the minimum $5 deposit, there was a significant increase in the number of daily deposits.

“The number of average daily deposits increased to 239 per day, an increase of more than 90%.

“The average deposit amount has also slightly increased even though the minimum deposit was reduced, to $38.71 per deposit from $38.43,” he said.

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Wate said this has proven that the previous 10% tax on airtime credit has been a strong disincentive to youSave members in using airtime credit as a currency for their youSave savings.

Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma approved and announced the 10% tax refund on 24th August 2020.

At the same time, SINPF with support of two national mobile network operators (MNO’s), Our Telekom and Bmobile, reduced the minimum deposit from $10 to $5.

Furthermore, Wate said with the strong feedback from new and existing members to use the youSave loMobile after the 10% tax refund to save for their future, SINPF team will be working closely with Our Telekom and Bmobile to reach out throughout our communities to secure more members.

The SINPF and Our Telekom and Bmobile are now working on a concept to consider how youSave members can digitally draw their savings.

Our Telekom Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Yen said it is a good advancement for the nation on the road for digital financing.
Yen said they plan to expand the service to Solomon Power and Solomon Water.

He said it is also good to see collaboration by both service providers working for common good.

Bmobile Group ICT Manager, Reinhard Lal added they are working together for the nation to help people do saving.

He hopes with more towers being built around the country, more people can access the service.

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