Fund offers home loan assistance for members

The Fiji National Provident Fund rolled out the COVID-19 Response (home loan assistance) from April 1, 2021. Picture: FILE

THE Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has identified 809 members who qualify for its COVID-19 Response (Home loan assistance).

Applications for this relief opened on April 1 and will end on June 30, 2021 and require applicants to lodge it with their banks or lenders such as the Housing Authority of Fiji and the Fiji Development Bank.

FNPF acting chief executive officer Viliame Vodonaivalu said members could now access their FNPF savings — inclusive of 50 per cent of their Preserved Account — to pay for their monthly home loan repayments for a minimum of three months to a maximum of 12 months.

A statement from the FNPF said members who were unemployed or on reduced pay qualified for the COVID-19 response home loan assistance, must have an existing home loan and made arrangements for a loan repayment holiday, had moratorium with their lenders by March 31, 2020, must be the legal owner of the property under mortgage, and must reside on the property.

According to the statement the Preserved Account, which equates to 70 per cent of members total balance is preserved for retirement and can only be accessed by members who are buying or building their first home.

The fund said it would charge those accessing their Preserved Account for the second time if they are to withdraw in excess of $9000 from the same account.

Members who are eligible have been advised to visit their banks or lenders with a copy of their FNPF eligibility statement and processing of the application will take between eight and 30 working days, depending on the charge placement.

Mr Vodonaivalu said while the banks had allowed a grace period through a moratorium, this assistance would enable these members to access their funds to service their loan repayments for up to 12 months as they look for alternative employment or until borders open.

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