By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) three months COVID-19 exemption orders to allow members to withdraw their money ends at 4.30pm today.
Thousands of people have withdrawn their allocations since SINPF opened its doors on April 1.
SINPF Managing Director, Michael Wate said he will provide the details or the total money given out to members when the deadline ends today.
As of June 5, 2020, 16,135 members were paid with a total of $77.8M.
However, the number of the members and money expended is likely to increase at the deadline.
Under the criteria:
1. A sum of $5,000 will be made available to members under the age of 50 years, who are temporarily laid off, or stand down due to the effect of COVID-19, or employed as of 31st December 2019, and are residing within the ‘emergency zone’. Members whose balances are below five thousand dollars are to be paid 50 percent of their balances.
2. Laid-off members due to COVID-19 be waivered three months waiting period and be paid 1/3 of their contributions or in full if their balances are less than $10,000. Their remaining Balance will be paid according to SINPF schedule.
3. Members aged 50 years and above to withdraw up to 20 percent of their contributions should they wish to or else, they can elect to withdraw in full.
Wate earlier said it’s a learning experience as a first of its kind to happen to SINPF Board since its existence in 1976.
Wate said even during the social unrest in 1998-2003 the Minister of Finance or the government then did not provide exemption orders for members to access part of their NPF contribution.
He said such payout to members will go down in SINPF Board 44 years’ history.
“SINPF will learn from this experience and in the future Fund will have a precedence to lean on when such crisis arises,” he added.