June 01, 2011

The FNPF Symposium: Presentations

Despite all the self-inflated hoopla surround our superannuation fund's PR exercise to justify why our pension rates will be reduced, we table below the various presentations made at the symposium.

Unsurprisingly, most of the material went waaaaaaaay above what we members are able to appreciate in real english and the inevitable bottom-line, that is, what it means for our back-pockets when we retire and above all WHY we are now grappling with the issue and HOW the fund can guarantee that reduced pension rates can benefit us ultimately -- no human is ever ecstatic about continuing to sink their hard-earned dollars into a sinking ship.

Many of the presentations were just boring lectures that we didn't want or need. What was and is essential is a credible two-way conversation. 

NONE of the presenters however were brave enough to take the elephant in the room by its trunk -- that this imposed exercise is expecting FNPF members to permit new legislation without constitutional and democratic oversight such as a parliamentary process. In fact, this exercise is being instigated as a proxy parliamentary process -- it is not and it continues to be an illegal exercise that they think the members will buy into wholesale.

Kudo's however to Rajeshwar Singh of the Fiji Public Service Association who fought back against the push although suggesting that member contributions should increase is essentially the same difference. We expect to see Singh as vocal, and as defensive of his clients, when the next round of civil service culls eventuate.

Unsurprsingly the FNPF is well aware of the backlash that this exercise (reduced pension rates AND new legislation) is already gathering. Unsurprisingly also are their callous ideas under duress, such as bestowing "the privilege" of becoming members to Class 1 students -- if these are the type of solutions we are paying for, do not expect any miracles with this exercise.

A recent Letter to the Editor succinctly encapsulates the public mood of FNPF's endeavours:
Hope for pensioners?
writer : Emelita Wilson Suva

In comments on Fiji One News (27/5/11) the FNPF’s chief executive officer gave pensioners a reason for hope. He made it clear no final decision has been made to reduce the pensions of existing pensioners.

I speak for many who believe their pensions are to be substantially cut.

I felt duty-bound to express my concerns at the packed meeting at the Civic Centre, Suva, on May 26 to hear about the FNPF plans.

The meeting was tense. There was concern and anger in the room, and fear too. This came through in comments from the floor.

I never imagined a time would come when I would need to speak out to defend our pensions, and pension arrangements.

It’s been suggested that somehow we are wilfully exploiting the rest of the fund members. We’ve done nothing wrong.

We signed on for pension options offered by the FNPF.

The option we each chose became a legally-binding contract for payments for the rest of our lives.

Thousands of pensioners have planned their retirements on that.

If the FNPF breaks those contracts, the consequences will be profound legally, morally and socially.

Yes, reform is needed, but there is no immediate crisis because we’re told the fund can continue with present arrangements until 2050.

Current pensioners will be long gone before that.

It would be callous to the point of cruelty to take a large portion of pensioners’ legally-agreed income away in the present circumstances.

Symposium Presentations:


Anonymous said...

Vinaka Rose Langi you are spot on that BLOGS are a SOURCE of Information in PRACTICE for T & A. Well said, now what say Sharon Gobbles?.

ex Fiji tourist said...

To hairyatse, bananasinpyjamas and your sycophants:

here are some details of your new home.

You may like to pack a few books to take with you.

I hope you like ping pong. Surely bananasinpyjams must be good at it after all his hospital trips to china.