The Fiji National Provident Fund strongly condemns attempts by members to gain access to their retirement savings through dishonest means, and warns that it will come down hard on those who commit these fraudulent acts.

Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi reiterated that FNPF has zero tolerance for fraud and he denounced attempts by individuals to defraud the Fund, saying that it was unfortunate that there was little regard for the law in their effort to access their retirement savings.

“It’s regrettable that some members are resorting to dubious means in order to access their funds. More importantly these members are not cheating anyone but themselves & ruin their lives in the process when they are found guilty and maybe incarcerated.”

Mr. Koroi explained that following the increase in the preservation rule to 70%, FNPF has removed the need to place charges on the property title under housing withdrawals. A lot of burden and responsibilities are placed on members to submit proper records and manage their mortgage. It appears that this trust has been abused.

Mr. Koroi reminded members that their savings were for retirement and stressed that they can only access these funds under specific withdrawal grounds. He added that members must follow the process when wanting to access their retirement savings.

“Our policies are designed to protect the financial future of our members – this is something members must understand. The Fund has a responsibility in ensuring that members accumulate savings throughout their working lives to provide an income that will sustain them financially after they cease work”, Mr Koroi added.

“It is disheartening that the Fund has been subjected to dishonest activities that test our internal system and processes”.

“There are control mechanisms in place to curb fraud and it’s these controls that have helped us detect dishonest activities. We have enhanced these further to deter attempts to swindle the Fund.”

He labelled the involvement of a former Fund staff as deplorable adding that the Fund will make no exceptions when dealing with those who choose to go rogue.

“Our members can be rest assured that we will not go easy on anyone who abuses the trust that is bestowed on the Fund as custodian of members’ funds.”

Mr. Koroi reiterated that the Fund does not condone attempts at fraud and will not hesitate to report illegal activities.

He also stated that staff are encouraged to blow the whistle on anything suspicious, which was the case for this particular incident.

The Fund will refrain from commenting on the current fraud case as it is being handled by relevant authorities and is also before the Court for determination.