National Provident Fund Amendment Act

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202005/National_Provident_Fund_Amendment_Act_2005_-_Eng.pdf
Published: 2005

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Arrangement of Provisions

1. Short title and
commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Establishment of the Board
4. Re-employment and
continuation of employment
after age 55 or withdrawal
5. Options on withdrawal
6. Residential qualifications for
benefits
7. Rates of benefits and
payment thereof
8. SNPF Health Care Scheme
and Medinsure Scheme

__________

2005, No.9

AN ACT to amend the National Provident Fund Act 1972.
[22nd
April 2005]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be
cited as the National Provident Fund Amendment Act 2005 and
shall be read together with and form part of the National
Provident Fund Act 1972 (the Principal Act).
(2) Sections 1 to 7 inclusive of this Act shall commence on
the date of assent by the Head of State.
(3) Section 8 shall commence on a date nominated by the
Minister.
(4) Notice of commencement of the various provisions of
this Act shall be published in Samoan and English in the Savali
and one other newspaper circulating in Samoa.
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 19

2. Interpretation-(1) Section 2 of the Principal Act is
amended by deleting the definitions of “Contribution half year”,
“Financial year” and “General Manager” and substituting the
following in correct alphabetical order:
“Contribution half year” and “half year” mean the period
from 1st July to 31
st December or 1
st January to 30
th June
in any year, as the case may be;
“Financial year” means a period of twelve (12) months
commencing on the 1st July in any year and ending on
the 30th
June in the following year;
“Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive
Officer appointed under section 5(1) of the Act and
includes any person appointed by the Board to act as
Acting Chief Executive Officer;”.
(2) The Principal Act is amended by deleting the words
“General Manager” wherever they appear and substituting the
words “Chief Executive Officer”.

3. Establishment of the Board – Section 3(1) of the
Principal Act is amended:
(a) by deleting the words “Financial Secretary” in
paragraph (a) and substituting the words “Chief
Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance”;
(b) by deleting the word “and” in paragraph (f); and
(c) by adding the following words in paragraph (i) after
the word “Cabinet”: “to represent the Medical
Profession.”

4. Re-employment and continuation of employment after
age 55 or withdrawal – Section 24(1)(iii) of the Principal Act
is amended by deleting the expression “5 years” and
substituting the expression “12 months”.
20 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

5. Options on withdrawal – Section 35(1)(e) of the
Principal Act is deleted and the following substituted:
“(e) If the member has satisfied the Board that the member:
(i) has been accepted to undertake a
course of theological study at a school of
theology recognised by the Board; and
(ii) upon completion of the member’s
course of study under subparagraph (i) the
member will be entitled to join a retirement
or superannuation scheme administered by a
church or other religious organisation,
the amount standing to the credit of the member in the
member’s Fund account shall be payable to the member or the
member’s spouse.”

6. Residential qualifications for benefits – Section 74 of
the Principal Act is deleted and the following substituted:
“74. Residential qualifications for benefits-(1) Unless
exempted by the Board under subsection (2), no person shall be
entitled to a benefit or be registered unless the person:
(i) is a resident in Samoa at the date of
the person’s application for registration; and
(ii) has resided continuously in Samoa for
a period of not less than ninety days
immediately prior to the date of the person’s
application.
(2) The Board may exempt a person from all or part of the
requirements of subsection (1) if the person:
(i) is employed by the Government in an
overseas mission; or
(ii) is employed by an international or
regional organisation of which the
Independent State of Samoa is a member; or
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 21

(iii) satisfies the Board that the person’s
absence from Samoa is reasonable and
appropriate in the circumstances provided
that the total period of the person’s absence
from Samoa does not exceed 90 days prior to
the date of the person’s application for
registration.”

7. Rates of benefits and payment thereof – Section 76 of
the Principal Act is amended by deleting the expression “at the
rate of $600 a year” and substituting the words, “at rates
determined by the Government from time to time”.

8. SNPF Health Care Scheme and Medinsure Scheme -
The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following after
section 84:

“PART XIII
SNPF HEALTH CARE SHCEME

85. Interpretatation-(1) Unless the context otherwise
requires in this Part:
“contract” means any contract whether written or oral and
whether expressed or implied;
“contribution” means the contribution required under
section 90;
“employed” means engaged under a contract of service or
apprenticeship or in any employment in respect of which
contributions are payable under section 16;
“Medisave Fund” means the Medisave Fund established
under section 89;
“SNPF” means the Samoa National Provident Fund;
“Scheme” means the SNPF Health Care Scheme established
under section 88.

86. Applications of other provisions of the Act – Parts I,
II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX of this Act shall apply to this
Part and Part XIV with such modifications and adaptations as
the context may required.
22 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

87. Cost of administration - The cost of administering the
Medisave Fund shall be met from the Medisave Fund and the
cost of administering the Medinsure Scheme shall be met from
the Medinsure Fund.

88. Establishment of the SNPF Health Care Scheme – A
SNPF Health Care Scheme shall be established and
administered by the Board in accordance with the provisions of
this Part and Part XIV.

89. Establishment of the Medisave Fund –
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, there shall be
established a fund to be called the Medisave Fund into which
shall be paid all contributions and out of which all payments
shall be disbursed under this Part.

90. Payment of contributions-(1) Every employer shall
pay to the Medisave Fund monthly in respect of each employee
a contribution of 6 sene in respect of each complete tala of the
amount of wages payable to such employee by such employer
during such month.
(2) The Board may, in its discretion and on such terms and
conditions as the Board may impose, authorise in writing an
employer or class of employers to pay the contribution at other
intervals not exceeding 6 months.
(3) Subject to subsection (7) and notwithstanding the
provisions of any written law or any contract to the contrary, an
employer who pays the contribution to the Medisave Fund in
respect of any employee in accordance with the provisions of
subsections (1) and (2) shall be entitled to recover from the
wages of such employee one half of such contribution
PROVIDED THAT where the rate of wages payable to an
employee is less than the minimum rate fixed pursuant to
section 19 of the Labour and Employment Act 1972 no sum
shall be deducted from the employee’s wages.
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 23

(4) Where any employer who has recovered any amount
from the wages of an employee in accordance with subsection
(3) fails to pay the contribution to the Medisave Fund within
such time as may be determined by the Board by Notice, the
employer shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on
conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
(5) Notwithstanding subsections (1), (2) and (3):
(a) an employee may contribute voluntarily to the
Medisave Fund a sum additional to the amount
payable under subsection (1) provided that the
employee gives written notice to this effect to the
employer and the Board.
(b) an employer shall pay the amount of any sum
additional under paragraph (a) to the Medisave
Fund in addition to the monthly contributions
required under subsection (1), provided that the
employee is employed by that employer and has
not within six months of providing notice under
paragraph (a), requested the employer and the
Board in writing to cease to have the sum
additional under paragraph (a) deducted from the
employee’s wages;
(c) an employer may at any time pay to the Medisave
Fund contributions in respect of any employee at
a rate in excess of that required under subsection
(1) provided that such excess contribution forms
part of the employer’s contribution to the
Medisave Fund.
(6) Notwithstanding any contract to the contrary, an
employer shall not be entitled to recover in any way from an
employee in respect of contributions payable under this Act any
sum in excess of that permitted to be recovered under
subsection (3) together with any sum additional contributed
voluntarily by the employee under subsection (5) and any
employer who recovers from an employee or attempts to
recover any greater sum shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units
or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
24 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

(7) Subject to subsections (8) and (9), the portion of any
contribution recoverable from the wages of an employee in
accordance with subsections (3) and (5) shall be recovered by
the employer from the wages of the employee in respect of
which the contribution is payable at the time of payment of
those wages and not otherwise.
(8) Subject to such conditions as may be determined by the
Board by Notice, where an employer has, by error not
occasioned by that employer’s negligence, omitted to recover
from the wages paid to an employee any amount or part of any
amount that the employer would otherwise have been entitled to
recover at the time of payment of the wages under subsection
(1), the amount or part thereof may be recovered from the
wages payable by the employer to the employee not later than 6
months from the date of the payment of the wages in respect of
which the amount or part thereof was omitted to be recovered.
(9) Notwithstanding subsection (7), where an employer is
required to pay to the Medisave Fund any additional
contributions on additional wages and is entitled to recover such
contributions from the wages of the employee in accordance
with subsection (7), the employer may recover such
contributions from the wages payable by the employer to the
employee not later than 6 months from the end of the year in
which the additional contributions are payable.
(10) Where an employer is required to pay to the Medisave
Fund any additional contributions and is entitled to recover such
contributions from the wages of the employee in accordance
with subsection (7), the Board may, notwithstanding subsection
(1) if it is satisfied that the employer is unable to recover in full
or in part from the wages of the employee and the employee is
no longer in the employment of the employer, waive the
payment of that portion of the additional contribution that the
employer is unable to recover.
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 25

91. Payment of interest on contributions in arrears-(1)
Subject to subsection (2), where the amount of the contributions
which an employer is liable to pay under section 90 in respect
of any month is not paid within one month after the last day of
the month during which the wages to which the contributions
relate were payable, the employer shall be liable to pay a
surcharge to the Board on the total of all such outstanding
contributions under this Part at the rate of 24% per annum for
the period commencing after the expiration of one month after
the last day of the month during which such wages were
payable and expiring on the date the contributions are paid to
the Medisave Fund.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Board may if it
thinks fit, waive the payment of the whole or part of, or remit in
whole or in part, the payment of any surcharge due under
subsection (1).
(3) Any sum due to the Medisave Fund by way of surcharge
under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the Board
within 14 days of a demand in writing for such payment by the
Board.

92. Contributions to be paid into Fund-(1) All sums
collected or recovered on account of contributions to the
Medisave Fund under this Part shall be paid into or carried to
the Medisave Fund in such manner as may be determined by the
Board by Notice.
(2) The Board shall cause to be credited to each member of
the Medisave Fund -
(a) the amount of every contribution paid to the
Medisave Fund for the member; and
(b) interest at the rate declared under section 9 at such
intervals as the Board may determine by Notice.
26 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

93. Voluntary contributions-(1) Notwithstanding anything
in this Act but subject to any regulations made under section 99,
a person in respect of whom no contribution is required to be
paid under this Act may contribute voluntarily to the Medisave
Fund in such manner and at such rate and upon such conditions
as the Board may determine by Notice and such person shall be
regarded as a member of the Medisave Fund under this Part and
Part XIV.
(2) The Board shall credit every contribution received under
subsection (1) into the Medisave Fund in the name of the person
together with interest at the rate declared under section 9 at such
intervals as the Board may determine by Notice.

94. Payment of members Medinsure premiums and co-
payments – The Board shall withdraw or cause to be
withdrawn from the money standing to the credit of each
member of the Medisave Fund the premiums and co-payments
required to be paid by section 102 and shall pay or cause to be
paid such sums to the credit of the member in the Medinsure
Scheme established under Part XIV.

95. Authorisation and conditions for other withdrawals
from Medisave Fund-(1) Subject to section 94, no sum of
money standing to the credit of a member of the Medisave Fund
may be withdrawn except with the authority of the Board upon
the application of a person entitled to withdraw the money from
the Fund under subsections (2) and (3).
(2) A member of the Fund, or the member’s legal
representative shall be entitled to withdraw the sum standing to
the credit of the member in the Medisave Fund at any time
provided that the Board is satisfied that the member -
(a) not having attained the age of 55 years, dies; or
(b) has attained the age of 55 years; or
(c) not being a citizen of Samoa, has left or is about to
leave Samoa permanently; or
(d) is a citizen of Samoa and has permanently ceased to
reside in Samoa.
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 27

(3) After the death of a member of the Medisave Fund, a
person nominated by that member in accordance with section 36
shall be entitled to withdraw such portion of the sum standing to
the credit of that member in the Medisave Fund in accordance
with the terms of the memorandum executed by the member
under the provisions of section 36.

96. Withdrawals-(1) Upon an application for the
withdrawal of the sum of money standing to the credit of a
member of the Medisave Fund the Board may authorise the
payment to the applicant of such sum as the member is entitled
to withdraw from the Medisave Fund and any interest calculated
in accordance with section 9 up to the date of the authorisation
or, if the applicant is a nominee appointed in accordance with
section 36, such portion of the sum as the person is nominated
to receive.
(2) When any contributions are due to be paid for a member
of the Medisave Fund in respect of any period ending not later
than the last day of the month next following the date on which
the withdrawal of the sum of money standing to the member’s
credit in the Medisave Fund is authorised and the contributions
are not paid to the Medisave Fund until after the date of
authorisation, those contributions may in the discretion of the
Board be treated as if they had been included in the amount
standing to the credit of the member at the date of authorisation
of withdrawal and paid to the applicant accordingly.

97. Protection of benefits-(1) Except as may be provided
for in any regulations made under section 99, no withdrawals
made by the authority of the Board from the Medisave Fund
under section 96 nor the rights of any member of the Fund
acquired thereunder shall be assignable or transferable or liable
to be attached, sequestered or levied upon for or in respect of
any debt or claim.
28 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

(2) All moneys paid out of the Medisave Fund on the death
of any member of the Medisave Fund shall be deemed to be
impressed with a trust in favour of –
(a) the person or persons nominated under section 36 by
the deceased member, if any; or
(b) the person or persons determined by the Public
Trustee in accordance with section 36.
(3) Notwithstanding any other law, a member’s contribution
into the Medisave Fund shall be deemed not to form part of the
deceased member’s estate.
(4) No contribution to the Medisave Fund or interest thereon
shall be subject to the debts of the member of the Medisave
Fund, nor shall the contribution or interest pass to the Official
Assignee on the bankruptcy of the member.
(5) If the member is adjudicated a bankrupt or is declared
insolvent by judgment of the court, the member’s contribution
and interest to the Medisave Fund shall be deemed not to form
part of the property of the member.
(6) The bankruptcy of an employee shall not affect the
payment of contributions from the wages of the employee in
accordance with the provisions of this Part.

98. Moneys payable on death of member-(1) Any member
of the Medisave Fund may by a memorandum executed in the
manner determined by the Board by Notice nominate a person
or persons to receive such portions of the amount payable on the
member’s death out of the Medisave Fund in accordance with
section 36.
(2) If, at the time of the death of a member of the fund,
there is no person nominated under subsection (1), the total
amount payable out of the Fund shall be paid to the Public
Trustee for disposal in accordance with any written law for the
time being in force.
(3) If any person nominated (other than a widow) is below
the age of 18 years at the time of payment of the amount
payable out of the Fund, such person’s portion of the amount
payable shall similarly be paid to the Public Trustee for the
benefit of the nominated person.

2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 29

(4) The receipt of a person or persons nominated under
subsection (1) or the Public Trustee under subsections (2) and
(3) shall be satisfactory discharge to the Board for such portions
of the moneys payable out of the Fund on the death of a
member.

99. Regulations – The Head of State, acting on the advice
of Cabinet, may from time to time make regulations as are
necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying out of or
giving full effect to the provisions of this Part and its due
administration.

PART XIV
MEDINSURE SHCEME

100. Interpretation of this Part – In this Part -
“approved hospital” means any hospital approved by
the Board by Notice;
“co-payment” means the portion or costs of
hopitalisation payable by the insured person;
“insured member” means an insured member of the
Medisave Fund;
“insured person” means a person who is insured under
the Scheme;
“Medinsure Fund” means the fund established and
maintained by the Board under section 104;
“Medinsure Scheme” means the medical insurance
scheme established and maintained by the Board
under section 101.

101. Establishment of Medinsure Scheme – The Board
may establish and maintain a medical insurance scheme to be
known as the Medinsure Scheme for the purpose of paying the
full or part of the costs incurred by an insured person for the
person’s treatment in an approved hospital at any time during
the period in which the person is insured under the Medinsure
Scheme.
30 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

102. Premiums and co-payments-(1) Every insured person
shall pay premiums and co-payments of such amount as may be
prescribed by regulations made under section 105.
(2) The Board shall deduct the amount of premiums and co-
payments payable by an insured member or the insured
member’s dependant who is insured under the Scheme from the
amount standing to the credit of that member in the Medisave
Fund.

103. General obligation of insured person to furnish
information-(1) An insured person or any other person who
wishes to join the Medinsure Scheme shall when required by
the Board:
(a) furnish to the Board such information as the Board
thinks fit regarding that person’s, or members of
the person’s family, health history, health and
financial circumstances; and
(b) undergo such medical examination as the Board
thinks fit.
(2) An insured person or any other person who wishes to
join the Medinsure Scheme shall be under a duty to disclose to
the Board all material facts which, if known to the Board, would
have reasonably affected the decision of the Board to permit
that person to join the Medinsure Scheme or entertain any claim
made by the insured person under the Medinsure Sheme.
(3) Despite any other law, any person insured under the
Medinsure Scheme or any other person who wishes to join the
Medinsure Scheme or is making a claim under the Medinsure
Scheme shall be deemed to have:
(a) given consent to the Board to seek information from
any doctor or other health care provider who has
attended to the person or any hospital or other
medical facility where the person has received
treatment; and
(b) authorised such doctor, other healthcare provider,
hospital or other medical facility to give
information requested by the Board.
2005, No.9 National Provident Fund Amendment 31

(4) Any information, including but not limited to financial
information relating to an insured person obtained by the Board
under this section, may be used by the Board and such other
organisations as the Board determines necessary for the purpose
of administering the Medinsure Scheme.

104. Establishment of Medinsure Fund-(1) The Board
shall establish and maintain a fund to be known as the
Medinsure Fund into which shall be paid all premiums and, if
the Board so determines, co-payments collected under this Part
and out of which shall be met all payments to be paid by it
under the Medinsure Scheme.
(2) The Medinsure Fund shall be controlled and
administered by the Board.
(3) The moneys in the Medinsure Fund shall be managed in
accordance with the provisions of section 6.

105. Regulations-(1) The Head of State, acting on the
advice of Cabinet, may make regulations as are necessary or
expedient for the purpose of carrying out of or giving full effect
to the provisions of this Part and its due administration.
(2) Without limiting the general power conferred in
subsection (1), such regulations may be made for any or all of
the following purposes:
(a) specify the members or class of members or other
persons who are entitled to join the Medinsure
Scheme;
(b) prescribe the conditions under which an insured
person is entitled to claim the benefits payable
under the Medinsure Scheme;
(c) prescribe the benefits payable to an insured person
under the Medinsure Scheme;
(d) prescribe for the rates of premiums and co-payments
payable by insured persons and the manner and
time for payment of such premiums and co-
payments;
32 National Provident Fund Amendment 2005, No.9

(e) provide for the refund of any premium or co-
payment and the rate, method or circumstances
under which the refund shall be made;
(f) provide for such information, evidence and
documents that the Board may require an insured
person to furnish for the purposes of this Part;
and
(g) provide for all matters which are otherwise required
or permitted to be prescribed or which are
necessary or convenient to be prescribed for
carrying out or giving effect to this Part.


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The National Provident Fund Amendment Act 2005 is
administered in the Samoa National Provident Fund