An announcement by Frank Bainimarama that FNPF will review its pension scheme is a slap on the face of retirees.
Close to 4000 civil servants over the age of 55 had to retire on April 30, under a new decree put out by Bainimarama's regime.
Currently, Fiji’s retired workers receive 15% yearly as monthly payments from FNPF. Previously they got 25% but that got changed.
Sources say a review is likely to recommend 10%-12% annual pension payment based upon members savings.
This means that the amount of money retirees get from FNPF will be lower.
The FNPF has already made changes in March to stop withdrawals. The rigid measures it made were:
- Charging $20 fee for every partial withdrawal
- Limiting unemployment assistance to one withdrawal of $500 per year
- Canceling funding for short courses normally benefiting students in vocational training to up-skill themselves
- Only $2000 per semester withdrawal to fund children’s education at USP
- Members can no longer use their fund to educate their siblings – children of their brothers or sisters who are not fund members but unemployed.
- A member cannot withdraw funds for his or her brother or sister’s medical treatment or their children.
- Funeral assistance of $1500 but members not allowed to withdraw for their siblings’ children funeral
- Those seeking funds to go overseas after securing employment can only withdraw a maximum of $5000 depending on their eligibility
- Withdrawal for Small Business Equity Scheme has been suspended and imposed restrictions on members accessing $10,000 for Share Investment Schemes
- With the above restrictions, retired and unemployed members are the worst affected due to Fiji’s rapidly deteriorating economic climate, rising inflation and 20% devaluation.