25 Jan 2012

Retirement Fund Board in Tonga recommends public servants contribute more

2:39 pm on 25 January 2012

The Retirement Fund Board of Tonga recommends that public servants make an additional 15 percent voluntary contribution toward their retirement fund to safeguard their retirement.

The Retirement Fund Board announced last week that public servants can access up to 50 percent of their retirement entitlement until the end of May to help pay off bank loans and school fees.

The Board CEO, Saia Havili, says he understands people are struggling to make ends meet, and the Board is investigating ways to help people in their retirement.

"At the moment it is a big challenge for them. What we are doing now is re-educating [them] to make sure they know they have to plan about making another voluntary contribution just to make sure that for the next ten years their contribution will be replaced given what they have been asked for now. So we are revising our investment strategy. At the moment all of our money is still invested locally so we are looking to make sure that we can also assist with adding value, to their contribution to make sure they have an adequate level of income when they retire [at] 60."

Mr Havili says of the nearly 4,000 public servants, 400 have already accessed half of their retirement fund.