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Fund clarifies new withdrawal changes

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, February 10, 2018

SEVERAL issues have been raised by Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) members about the withdrawal guidelines which have somewhat been "misunderstood".

The FNPF board has approved major changes to its withdrawal policies last year which came into effect from February 1, 2018.

The fund in a statement yesterday clarified the misunderstanding which was mainly on the qualifying conditions for the full withdrawal for small accounts and early withdrawal for unemployment assistance.

FNPF's chief operating officer Jaoji Koroi said some members had not fully understood the rationale for the new changes and have misinterpreted the requirements.

"While members have appreciated the changes, some have misinterpreted certain withdrawal conditions, which led to some confusion," Mr Koroi said.

To qualify for small account withdrawal, members must:

* be between 50-54 years of agel;

* be unemployed for three years (from the date of application); and

* have a balance of $5000 or less.

Mr Koroi said the entitlement for Unemployment Assistance of $2,000 is for social protection, and had been extended to cover local seasonal workers.

However, Mr Koroi stressed that the assistance does not cover overseas contractors such as those who work for overseas security firms, as they have not been contributing to their account.

The new changes were aimed at enhancing the pre-retirement benefits available to FNPF members, cover housing, funeral, unemployment, medical and education assistance.

Changes have been made to the Full Withdrawal Guidelines for retirement, medical incapacitation, survivorship, migration and further payments.

Under the Early Withdrawal Guidelines, there have been changes to education (local and overseas), medical (local and overseas), funeral and housing.

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