Option for the jobless

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FT FILE

FIJI National Provident Fund (FNPF) members who have been unemployed for the past six months are now eligible to withdraw funds from their accounts.

The announcement was made by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these workers might have been unemployed for some reasons apart from COVID-19 but they were eligible to withdraw from what was left in their general account.

However, Government would not supplement if the amount in their accounts was less.

“Those people, for example, whose employment was terminated not because of COVID-19 but maybe for some other reason and they have been unemployed, they can also go and withdraw funds from whatever fund is in their accounts,” he said.

“Again, those people who may have resigned, they can withdraw up to three months from the date of resignation. Again they have resigned not because of COVID-19 but for some reason, they can withdraw those funds from three months of date of resignation.

“There are a lot of taxidrivers who have been in touch with us. Because they have been cut down as a result of curfews and because there has not been much traffic, a lot of these taxi drivers have their own FNPF accounts. Some may have worked previously and have their own FNPF accounts. Some get paid cash in hand now and don’t make FNPF contributions because their work is on contract, they can access their FNPF accounts also.”

There will not be any top-up from Government for these people.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they could only withdraw what was available for them in their general accounts.

“Similarly, there are people who drive hire cars, they can also withdraw their funds available for them through their general account and of course they can access up to $1000 from their FNPF accounts.”

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