THE Fiji National Provident Fund is continuing to review its housing policy saying that its main objective was to ensure members funds are protected for their retirement.
The fund has a Housing Assistance Scheme whereby members can withdraw up to two thirds of their savings to buy, build, renovate a house or property or reduce a home loan.
In 2009, the fund paid out a total of $30.55million on housing transfers. This was a reduction of $5.54m from 2008.
The FNPF attributed the decrease to the high real estate market and lending rates, which disqualified a lot of members from a home loan.
In addition, FMPF's tightening of policies and compliance also led to the decrease.
Under the housing scheme, members can also use their savings to pay of their homes.
But first members must check their eligibility to withdraw with the FNPF Customer Service Centre.
For the reduction of a home loan, members must write a request letter to the FNPF, a current valuation report of the property from one of FNPF's approved panel of valuers.
The valuation should not be over five-years old. A current statement of the housing loan account should also be provided and also receipts from relevant authorities to show that land rental, town or city rates are up-to-date.
These requirements need to be met to upgrade or for the extension of a house, as well as three quotations from three reputable contractors or hardware suppliers, four photographs of the house showing areas that need upgrading and the approved extension plan.
Members wishing to pay-off their home loans also need to write a letter, the settlement figure from the lender showing the break-down of housing and non-housing loans and receipts to show that land rental, town or city rates are up-to-date.
According to the FNPF, the processing time for approval is five working days while the total processing time including legal and payment is 42 working days.
"Members can apply anytime provided their housing eligibility can make a substantial reduction to their home loan, they can use it for major upgrading or it is sufficient to pay-off their home loan," the fund said.