| 25 May 2023

PSDI experts address ADB Asian Impact Webinar on Pacific women in super

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Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) experts have addressed an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Asian Impact Webinar on the difficulties Pacific women face in achieving security in retirement, and how retirement funds can bridge the gap.

PSDI Economic Empowerment of Women Specialist Sarah Boxall and Financing Growth Specialist Jeremy Cleaver on 25 May 2023 addressed the ADB Asian Impact Webinar, “Investing in Women’s Financial Futures”, alongside Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) Secretariat Chief Damien Beddoes, Nasfund PNG Client Relations and New Business Manager Melanie Lavaki, and ADB Senior Social Development Specialist Keiko Nowacka.

Ms Boxall and Mr Cleaver outlined the findings of PSDI’s 2022 report, A Secure Retirement: Leveling the Playing Field for Women in the Pacific, which proposes a series of reforms to address women’s disadvantage in accessing benefits from Pacific retirement funds, while ensuring retirement funds become more efficient and profitable institutions.

Lower wages, uncertain or informal employment conditions, and caring responsibilities all impact on the retirement contributions women can make throughout their working lives—leaving them with a financial shortfall come retirement.

A Secure Retirement recommends enabling women in all types of employment, including in the informal sector, to participate in retirement schemes and make contributions; evaluating the impact of using retirement fund accounts for non-retirement purposes, such as disaster relief; and removing barriers for employer contributions.

Mr Beddoes also discussed the establishment and work of the PSDI-supported PIIF Women in Super working group, which has since 2022 supported PIIF members to implement reforms to increase women’s access to retirement fund benefits. 

The annual PIIF CEO Forum in March 2023 endorsed the establishment of minimum standards on gender-related data collection among its members.

Screenshot 2023 05 25 at 12.38.20 pmADB Asian Impact Webinar participants, including PSDI Experts Jeremy Cleaver (top left) and Sarah Boxall (top center).

Ms Lavaki discussed the establishment and growth of Nasfund subsidiary Eda Supa, a voluntary fund contribution platform targeting PNG farmers, sole traders, and small business owners. Eda Supa—which has gained more than 35,000 members since its 2015 establishment—accepts contributions as low as K20, including through a mobile phone app. 

PSDI is an ADB technical assistance program in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. It supports ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to achieve inclusive, private sector-led economic growth, including through reforms designed to enhance the economic empowerment of women.