October 15, 2011

FNPF to steam-roll pension fund reforms with legislation

It was all to clear that our superannuation pension fund, Fiji National Provident Fund, would continue with their dubious reforms after their sudden reappearance into the public domain with two little sweeteners, and an equally sudden retraction last week:
FNPF still working on planned reforms
Publish date/time: 13/10/2011 [19:11]

The Fiji National Provident Fund is still working on the planned FNPF reforms which includes the reduction of the annual pension rate from 25% or 15% to about 9%.

As work continues on the planned reforms, the Fund stated that it has not dropped the pension cut proposal as announced by the state owned broadcaster, FBC.

The Fund said FNPF’s Assistant General Manager, Tevita Nagataleka was misquoted in the report.

Nagataleka stated, and as highlighted earlier on Fijivillage, that a mandatory pension system was initially proposed and later dropped after the consultations due to considerable opposition to the idea.

Nagataleka stressed that the lump sum and pension option remains for the members.

As is the current practice the members decide when they turn 55 on whether they will take out the lump sum from their FNPF account or opt for pension.

There is still no word on when the final decision on the reform including the planned pension cuts, will be made.

The FNPF board will assess all issues and then take them up to cabinet. Cabinet will make the final decision on the matter.

Story by: Vijay Narayan
The shady Shaista Shameem continues with her case against the FNPF but the outcome is clear, the illegal and treasonous military regime will unilaterally do what it likes with our retirement funds and the FNPF will hide behind the regimes skirt, confirming once again what we already knew regarding the sham reform exercise:
Legalise and implement
Elenoa Baselala
Saturday, October 15, 2011

THE Fiji National Provident Fund will legalise its proposed pension reforms by including it in a revised FNPF Act and then announce to members what are the changes.

The Fiji Times Business asked the fund for an update on what part of the reforms would be implemented and when they would be implemented.

In June, the fund had conducted public consultations on the proposed reforms and the implementation date as announced by the FNPF chairman, Ajith Kodagoda was July 1.

The next date announced by FNPF chief executive Aisake Taito was mid-September.

"This is a major decision and there are other issues that need be factored in before the implementation can be effected, and this includes the review of the FNPF Act," Mr Taito said.

"The proposed changes will need to be incorporated into the Revised Act before the changes are announced."

The FNPF had previously stated the "urgent" need for reform to remain sustainable. At the current pension rates, FNPF experts predicted its death by 2056.

The fund had suggested a rate reduction to about eight per cent from the current rate of 15 per cent.

When asked on which of the proposed reforms have been removed due to member rejection, Mr Taito said they would review this in due course.

But the reduction of the pension rate is not negotiable.

"We have already stated that this is not negotiable - pension rates will be reduced. This is in line with recommendations that have been received in the last 30 years from the World Bank, International Labour Organisation, Blaxland and other consultants," Mr Taito said.

He added that the new pension conversion rate would be announced in "due course".

The fund was also not ready to reveal the cost of its pension review or public awareness exercises. "The cost to the members will be in ensuring the fund remains sustainable in the long term," Mr Taito said.

Not in FNPF's favour again, is the timing of their public announcement. With all the continued publicity (and retaliation) relating to the unjust removal of workers rights, and the curtailment of free expression, the FNPF would do well to tread very carefully insofar as the public mood is concerned, no matter how desperate the 2012 Budget is looking.

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