Members paid over $35m for COVID-19 withdrawal

With more than $35 million paid for the COVID-19 relief withdrawals, the $31m paid by the Fund to date, is more than half of the total amount ($56.3m) accessed for early withdrawals (excluding housing) by members in 2019.

A total of 41,698 members accessed their own funds, while 12,443 members were assisted by theGovernment, with a payout of $4.2m.

Altogether, 54,141 have accessed their funds for the COVID-19 relief withdrawal scheme, which is 70% of the total applications received so far.

Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi said the Fund is doing its best with the processing of applications.

“We understand that these are anxious times for members and we are doing our best to process COVID-19withdrawal applications. Some members have reached out to us about the delays in processing, especiallyfor those who lodged their applications in early April.”

“These delays are not intentional, while others are beyond our control, such as incorrect or incomplete forms filled by members, submission errors on the portal, incorrect details provided and difficulties reaching employers and members when clarifications are needed.” 

“We have also encountered some setbacks with payments processing, especially for those opting for M-PAiSA, BillPaid (Post Fiji) and the Government top-up, but again, this is due to the large volume of payments that are processed daily.”

“These are challenges that we encounter daily but we continue to address it in our quest to ensure that members receive their funds.”

MPAISA and Post Fiji Billpaid payment

Members who have opted for payment through M-PAISA need to wait for a message from 181 before cashing their funds at any Vodafone M-PAISA outlet or agent.

Those who have opted for Post Fiji’s Billpaid, will need to confirm with the Fund before accessing their funds at any Post Fiji branch.

The Fund has also activated its member notification process via SMS to communicate the status of applications. 

Mr. Koroi assured members that those who have applied for the COVID-19 withdrawals and meet the requirements, will receive their funds. 

He reiterated that there are no cash flow issues as some were claiming, but the Fund is simply ensuring proper processes are followed for the withdrawal payout.

“These withdrawals are well within the Fund’s financial means and members can refer to our annual reports that are available on our website because it contains all the facts pertaining to their funds.”

“All we are ask is that they bear with us as we work on processing their applications,” said Mr. Koroi.

Last weekend, the Fund also released a list of queried applications and the members who have been identified are requested to re submit their applications as soon as possible.

Processing of these member’s applications will be prioritised as soon as it is received.

TC Harold Withdrawals

A total of $515,000 has been paid to 406 members for the TC Harold withdrawal scheme, which is being processed simultaneously with the COVID-19 applications.

“The Fund’s inspection teams are currently in Kadavu this week and have started visiting the villages and settlements that have been identified by the National Disaster Management Office,” said Mr. Koroi.

“Inspection for areas identified on Viti Levu, wrapped up last week and our teams will be in Kadavu until the end of next week.”

“These two schemes, TC Harold and COVID-19 have stretched our resources but we continue to do the best we can to assist members who want to access their funds.”

Members who live ioutside of the areas identified as worst affected, can still access their funds for housing withdrawal if they are eligible.