FNPF pensioners to receive COVID-19 relief

More than 7,000 Fiji National Provident Fund pensioners will receive a COVID-19 relief payment today,Tuesday 26 May 2020.

The payment, which ranges from $300 to $900, will be disbursed directly to the Fund’s active pensioners.

Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi said the Fund was able to provide this one-off payment to pensioners,following amendments to the FNPF Act.

“These amendments have allowed the Fund to distribute surpluses in the Retirement Income Fund to eligible pensioners”.

The provision of this relief for pensioners, is attributed to the successful Reform of the FNPF Pension Scheme in 2012.

“The Fund is now in a strong position to consider specific benefit improvements for the FNPF Pensioners and we are able to fund this relief assistance from the surplus in the Retirement Income Fund (RIF)”, Mr Koroi said.

The utilization of the RIF surplus will not affect the validity of the current Funding and Solvency certificate issued under the Act as confirmed by the Fund Actuary.

“We will be disbursing funds to more than 7,000 pensioners, however, there are some accounts which are inactive or suspended – we need these pensioners to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

The minimum amount that will be paid is $300 and the maximum is $900. It is the equivalent of three pension payments or a maximum of $900 – whichever amount is less.

Pensioners who have received a pension payment up to 1 May 2020, will have their COVID-19 relief paid directly to their bank account or by pension order; whichever method they normally receive their monthly pension.

“This means that any pensioner who received their monthly pension for March, April and May, will have this relief funds transferred to their bank accounts. These active pensioners won’t need to contact the Fund,”said Mr. Koroi.

Those pensioners who have not received any monthly payment for March, April and May, will need to contact the Fund to verify and validate their accounts to enable them to access the COVID-19 payout.

Dependents and nominees of pensioners who have passed away, but the guaranteed pension payments are yet to be completed, will be eligible for this relief payment, however they must ensure their account status is active, in order to qualify.

“Our teams will conduct the necessary validations for those pensioners whose accounts have been in active.We will be utilising the channels that are available online, including video calls, in line with the national health restrictions due to COVID-19,” said Mr. Koroi.

“Pensioners are a high risk group that are vulnerable to COVID-19 and we’re requesting that they refrain from visiting any of the Fund’s offices, but to contact us through telephone, email or the Fund’s social media pages.”

“On Monday 1st June, we will publicize the list of Pension IDs for pensioners whose accounts are suspended or inactive. These pensioners will need to contact our teams before June 30th, 2020 so that we can validatetheir accounts and process their funds.”

Pensioners can contact the Fund on 3238281, 3238283, 3238284 or email anpensions@fnpf.com.fj to make an appointment for validation via Skype or Facebook Messenger.