22 May 2012

Businesses believed to cope with new Tonga pension fund

2:39 pm on 22 May 2012

The chief executive of Tonga's National Retirement Benefits Fund, which is a compulsory scheme for private sector workers, says he thinks businesses will be able to cope with the additional cost.

Under the scheme starting in July, the employee and the employer both contribute five percent of the worker's gross earnings to the scheme.

Radio Tonga reports some business operators have intimated the scheme could prove too costly and might result in job cuts.

But the CEO, Dr Leimoni Taufu'i, says businesses can ask for an exemption for up to a year.

"If a business feels it is under hardship it can come in and ask for exemptions for a certain period of time, but basically it is important that we start to contribute to our retirement fund. That when we retire from work we have financial security."

Dr Leimoni Taufu'i.

To date nearly 7,000 workers have joined the scheme.