Major Changes to FNPF Withdrawal Policies

The Fiji National Provident Fund Board has approved major changes to its withdrawal policies to enhance the pre-retirement benefits available to its members. These changes cover housing, funeral, unemployment, medical and education assistance.

The Fund’s Chief Operating Officer Jaoji Koroi said the changes ensured that product offerings are 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,” Mr Koroi said.

Effective 1 February, 2018, 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 torequests from members at our member forums.

“While we constantly highlight the importance of saving for retirement, and that members now have 70% of their balances preserved for their retirement, we’re also mindful of our members’ pre-retirement needs. 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.”

The key changes include the following:

PARTIAL/EARLY WITHDRAWALS:

i. Education:
a. Members can now assist their parents
b. Increase in textbook allowance to $400 per student per semester twice a year;
c. FNPF assistance is only for accredited institutions and courses that are examinable resulting in academic certification of attainment and not Participation/Completion;
d. Members are only required to submit invoices from institutions if applying for accommodation assistance;
e. Penster now recognized as a term of study;
f. Overseas incidental expenses for Year 12 sponsored students;
g. Maximum of $2,000 is allowed for overseas incidental expenses for short term courses that are less than 6 months.

ii. Funeral:
a. Maximum assistance has increased to $2,000 from $1,500;
b. Members next of kin is to apply within 30 working days from the date of death;

iii. Unemployment:
a. Seasonal workers can now access this assistance;
b. Members who have resigned on own accord or have cases pending disciplinary tribunals can apply after 3 months but within 6 months from the last date of employment;

iv. Medical:
a. Assistance covers prosthetics, hearing aid and wheelchair; and funds will be paid directly to suppliers/vendors
v. Housing
a. Streamlining of Requirement
· Only ONE quotation each is now required from surveyor, labour and material costs for selfbuild
projects, and general contractor quotation;
· Approved Plan and Valuation Report required ONLY for Fully Financed Applications;
· Valuation Report can be obtained from ANY registered valuer in Fiji;
· Title searches should not be more than 30 working days – previously it was 1 month;
· Quantity Surveyors Report is now only required for projects exceeding $30,000;
a. Lease Arrangements:
· Members who have unregistered leases (Agreement for Lease; Instrument of Tenancy;
Approval Notice for Lease) can access housing assistance and;
· They can purchase vacant land from TLTB or Ministry of Lands or purchase from a vendor
and to survey or/and build;
· The $218 TLTB surveying fee can be paid with the premium or included as part of the
surveyor’s cost;
· Agricultural Lease term of at least 10 years, can be assisted;
b. Village Housing:
· Members can access assistance for more than one house within the village boundary if they
have sufficient funds from their General account
· FULL WITHDRAWAL
i. Small Account:
a. Members with less than $5,000 can withdraw their funds if they are:
– over 50 years old;
– have been unemployed for more than 3 years;
ii. Medical Incapacitation:
a. Medical Board is now required to meet once every fortnight to assess cases:
b. Board membership has been increased from 3 to 8 with a quorum requirement of 3;
PROCESSING FEES
i. Fees for partial/early withdrawals ($10), quick repairs ($50); housing ($100) can be paid
through the following:
a. Deducted from member’s balance;
b. Part cash and part deduction from member’s balance;
c. Cash

FNPF