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Party's vow for retirees

Avinesh Gopal
Friday, July 04, 2014

THE status of people who have retired from work will be reviewed and compensation provided to them if the National Federation Party forms the next government.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad gave this assurance to a group of retirees and pensioners at a meeting organised by the party in Suva yesterday.

Mr Prasad said he would also offer an unconditional apology to the retirees for whatever inhumane things they may have faced over the past few years.

"I will also introduce legislation that will make it next to impossible to impose negative retrospective changes to pensions and retirement policy," he told those gathered at the meeting.

He also said the NFP would urgently review the operations of the Fiji National Provident Fund if it is in the next government.

Mr Prasad said the party would restructure the FNPF board with more workers and employer representatives and also review all the contractual agreements.

"The FNPF must evolve into a pension fund and not remain a retirement savings fund nor an additional pool of funds that continuously bails out the State.

"To this end, we will call a tripartite meeting within the first six months in government to agree to review all the benefits with a view to restoring some of the past benefits which have been removed.

"NFP had already announced an increase in the social pension scheme for all citizens aged 70 years and over to $50. The government, just on the eve of elections, announced that it will increase it to $50 from next year.

"We welcome this but we do question why it has taken so long to provide this necessary relief to the elders of our nation."

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