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$6.09m unclaimed

Monika Singh
Thursday, November 02, 2017

ABOUT $6.09 million remains as unclaimed funds with the Fiji National Provident Fund belonging to 1941 members.

FNPF chief operating officer Jaoji Koroi said these were members who were over 65 years old and whose FNPF accounts had been inactive over the past 10 years.

The fund had publicised the names of these members on Saturday October 7 in the daily newspapers and requested these members or their relatives (if the members are deceased), to make arrangements to collect the funds by the end of this month.

Mr Koroi said to claim the funds, members would need to go through a validation process.

"FNPF has to determine certain factors such as the reason the funds have not been claimed after members have reached retirement age (55 years) — especially if there has not been any contribution received from the member during that 10-year period.

"Once the relevant forms and documents have been filled and submitted, members will then be interviewed by FNPF staff.

"Following that, a decision will then be made on the amount to be paid out to the member," he said.

Meanwhile at the end of the 2017 Financial Year, a total of $2.92m was owed by employers to the fund.

Mr Koroi confirmed that the current debt balance from July 1-October 1 stood at $3.01m, taking the total debt balance to $5.9m.

He said the FNPF continued to plead with employers to ensure that members' contributions were paid on time.

"We encourage employers to utilise the online portal for their FNPF business given that we have also linked up with commercial banks to enable an easier and convenient way to submit their contribution payments.

"While we appreciate employers' efforts to ensure contribution schedules and payments are received on time, we request that this is done earlier as we have noted that some make payments on the last day of the month and because of the influx, some payments are then receipted the next day, which is the beginning of the new month."

Mr Koroi said for the past few years, FNPF had offered amnesty periods for employers to clear their contribution debts without paying the penalty.

He said while many had utilised this incentive, some continued to neglect their responsibilities.

"The amnesty period was effective until June 30 this year.

"The late payment penalty became effective August 1, 2017 and a few employers have been penalised as a result."

Meanwhile the fund will start its member forums this month with the first session scheduled for the Northern Division on November 11.

Mr Koroi said the annual member forums had always provided members and pensioners an opportunity to learn about FNPF's financial performance, operations and future projections.

"This has always been the objective of the forums, as required under the FNPF Act.

"It allows members and pensioners to ask questions or highlight their concerns directly with the FNPF board.

"FNPF has been able to gain valuable feedback through the annual member forums and always anticipates good engagement sessions with its key stakeholders."

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