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Half yearly newsletter published by National Pension and Provident Fund, Thimphu. Volume2,8th January 2014

From the Chief Executive Officer

It is an immense pleasure for us to bring out the second issue of our newsletter in January 2014. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the officers and staff of the National Pension and Provident Fund, as well as on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to wish all our members a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

As a social security organization, the NPPF is dedicated to providing income security for its members after their retirement from service. Ironically, among the many challenges being faced by the NPPF is the increasing life expectancy of the people brought about by improved health care services in the country today. This, and various other challenges require us to continuously review our policies and plans so that they are aligned with our strategic objectives and long term vision.

All our initiatives are guided by three fundamental considerations, namely (i)the need to adapt to changing circumstances; (ii)to ensure that the Pension scheme remains affordable without compromising its long term sustainability; and, (iii) to maintain inter-generational equity.

Even as we continuously strive to improve our systems and enhance our services, we make every effort to keep the scheme as simple as possible so that our members can make informed decisions about how and when to avail our services, take advantage of the benefits and services and also look for other opportunities.

In a major initiative, with technical assistance from the World Bank, our officers have been trained in the use of the Pension Reform Options Simulation Toolkit (PROST) model. This is a computer based tool-kit which was developed by the World Bank to simulate pension systems over time. As a result, the NPPF now has the in-house capacity to estimate future trends of the pension scheme over a long time-frame. This is an important development which will enable the NPPF to evaluate and compare reform options for the long term sustainability of the pension scheme. Presently, under an Asian Development Bank TA, experts are helping the NPPF to examine the potential impact of the RMA’s directive under which the NPPF is required to cease its direct lending activities from 2014. At the same time, they are also reviewing the NPPF’s Five Year Plan.

Throughout 2013, the RMA continued to pursue a restrictive monetary policy because of the balance of payment problems with India. Consequently, like the other financial institutions, the NPPF’s ability to expand its credit operations, particularly to the housing sector was constrained.

Moreover, NPPF also faced continuing difficulties in findingadequate investment avenues that is commensurate with the growth rate of fund. Nevertheless, we take these challenges as opportunities to make necessary adjustments and improve our services and benefits. In general, the individual savings rate in Bhutan is low and therefore, most people do not make adequate savings for their old age retirement. The NPPF is, therefore,initiating several programs that are designed to encourage the savings habit for among its members. We have, therefore, chosen “SAVING FOR OLD AGE” as the theme of this issue to help educate our members.

We take this opportunity to wish all our members a Happy and Prosperous 2014.

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