The COVID-19 Unemployment Relief, put in place in April 2020 by the Fiji National Provident Fund, has ended. As of today, the Fund has reactivated its normal unemployment withdrawal ground. This means that the COVID-19 Relief for phases two, three, four and the voluntary members’ relief have all ceased.
To date, a total of $366.3 million was paid for 27 rounds of COVID-19 Relief with $185.5 million topped up by Government and $180.8 million through FNPF:
- Phase 1 – all members that lost their jobs or were on reduced hours/wages
- Phase 2 (8 rounds) – unemployed or on leave without pay
- Phase 3 (6 rounds) – reduced wages/hours
- Phase 4 (5 rounds) – members unemployed between 2010 – 2019
- Lockdown Relief (2 rounds)
- Voluntary Relief (3 rounds) – for voluntary members (GA only)
- SME’s, Taxis/Minibus Drivers (1 round)
The normal unemployment withdrawal is only accessed from members’ general account. Members can access a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $2,000.
Chief Executive Officer Viliame Vodonaivalu said the Fund continues to monitor the economic conditions at a national level and its impact on ordinary Fijians.
“The COVID-19 Unemployment relief has been active for close to three years and while we’re not out of the woods yet, the opening of the international border last year is a precursor for a return to normalcy.”
“Operating under the new normal for the Fund, means reverting to our normal withdrawal grounds – especially for the Unemployment Withdrawal. We acknowledge that a lot of members and their families were affected by the pandemic and have also benefited from the COVID-19 Relief. We hope that these members have secured employment or started an income generating project.”
Members can apply for the Unemployment assistance within 6 months from their last employment date. For members who had been assisted under the COVID-19 Unemployment assistance or Phase 2 Round 8, they may apply for this assistance after 3 months from the date of their last payment.
Members who have resigned can only apply 3 months after their last employment date, but within 6 months of unemployment – similarly this applies to those resigning due to overseas employment opportunities.
Members assisted under normal Unemployment, can reapply 1 year from their last normal Unemployment assistance and depending on their General Account entitlement.
Members can also repay funds they have accessed through early withdrawals and those who are working can increase their monthly contributions through additional contributions and benefit from the compound interest.
“Again, the Fund will continue to encourage our members to take up a culture of savings – save for retirement, for a rainy day, for specific goals. Look at ways to grow your retirement savings, especially if you have been accessing it for withdrawals.”
“If your economic condition improves, look at ways of repaying or increasing your FNPF savings because it’s not just solely for retirement. Many have benefitted from the COVID-19 Relief withdrawals but it’s equally important to look at how much you’ve accessed and consider repaying this amount.”
Full details of the requirements are available on the FNPF website and social media pages. Queries can be directed to 3307811 or 5857, emailed to Information@fnpf.com.fj and live chat on the FNPF website www.myfnpf.com.fj