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Fund approves changes to withdrawal policies

Filipe Naigulevu
Friday, December 01, 2017

RESPONDING to request from its members, the Fiji National Provident Fund board has approved major changes to its withdrawal policies effective February 1, 2018.

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

FNPF chief operating officer Jaoji Koroi, in a statement, said the changes ensured that product offerings were relevant to meet members' expectations given changing economic and social conditions.

"The changes for housing in particular will make home ownership much easier for our members, and are in line with Government policy," he said.

The changes also include mode of payment for processing fees, allowing members to opt to have these fees directly deducted from their member balances.

These changes have been implemented in response to requests from members at our member forums.

"While we constantly highlight the importance of saving for retirement, and that members now have 70 per cent of their balances preserved for their retirement, we're also mindful of our members' pre-retirement needs," Mr Koroi said.

The member forums have provided this platform for members to raise their concerns in regards to assistance provided by FNPF inclusive of funding for native leases and text book allowances.

"The fund has a responsibility to address some of these concerns that are within our powers and help our members accordingly."

For instance, some of the changes, which are under education assistance, include; members can now assist their parents, increase in textbook allowance to $400 per student per semester twice a year and FNPF assistance is only for accredited institutions and courses that are examinable resulting in academic certification of attainment and not participation/completion.

Under the same, members are only required to submit invoices from institutions if applying for accommodation assistance; penster is also now recognised as a term of study; overseas incidental expenses for Year 12 sponsored students and maximum of $2000 is allowed for overseas incidental expenses for short-term courses that are less than six months.

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