The Fiji Sun: The Fiji National Provident Fund yesterday announced major changes to its partial withdrawal policy that will encourage property ownership for its members.
The review is part of current reforms being undertaken at the Fund aimed at strengthening and adding value to the retirement benefits of its members.
Fund chief executive officer Aisake Taito said FNPF was mindful of the needs of its members to own a home, because housing was a basic need for all, especially on retirement.
5) To be assisted in acquiring another property without repayment of the previous transfer if the first property assisted by FNPF was sold under mortgage sale;
6) To withdraw funds to pay fees to Fiji Public Trustees Corporation Limited for those inheriting properties administered by the Corporation.
“In the case of agricultural property, FNPF will only assist with freehold or land with leases of 50 years and more,” Mr Taito clarified. “The member will not only occupy the property, he/she can also farm the property and benefit commercially with additional source of income to sustain the loan. However, should the member decide to subdivide the property then the funds transferred from FNPF will need to be fully repaid before he/she can proceed with this.”
On debt reduction, the Fund will assist members to reduce their home loans provided their eligibility will reduce the outstanding debt by 25 per cent or more. “In allowing this facility, the member can save on interest payment as the duration of the loan repayment is reduced substantially,” Mr Taito said.
He said the Fund decided to allow members to purchase properties with more than two flats because additional rental income from flats would help the member sustain the loan account.
Members previously assisted with village housing scheme (VHS), can also apply to purchase a home in the urban centre with several qualifying conditions, including that funds released for VHS were properly used.
Another change in policy would see re-entrant members, who have fully withdrawn at age 55 and have rejoined the Fund, can also immediately withdraw their funds twice a year.
a) Repayment of partial withdrawal: Members can opt to partially or fully repay partial withdrawals taken from members’ account since July 1995, to increase their retirement balances
b) Full withdrawal small accounts: Members who are 50 and above, unemployed for three years with balances of less than $2000 can fully withdraw from the Fund.
c) Payment of SDB for funeral expenses: This assistance allows partial payment of up to a maximum of $2000 from the Special Death Benefit of the deceased members account to cater for his/her funeral expenses.
d) Funeral assistance: This assistance of up to $1000 will only be given to the next of kin of those members that are not eligible for Special Death Benefit death assistance
e) Unemployment assistance - a one-off withdrawal of up to a maximum $2000 subject to eligibility for those terminated from their jobs after continuous employment for two years.