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Members from around the island of Taveuni have made a valiant effort to attend the Fiji National Provident Funds “It’s easy to save” retirement expo this week, ensuring that all their FNPF issues are addressed.

Considering that this was the first time the FNPF brought all its services to the Garden Island, it was a once in a while opportunity that members could not miss.

Members have come from as far as Taveuni South, Qamea and even Vanua Levu to check their FNPF account, update their information, also finding out options available to them to increase their retirement savings.

One of the benefits of the expo is the opportunity for members to use the retirement calculator and have their balances projected to when they want to retire also taking into account if they wish to opt for additional contributions.

Taxi Driver and yaqona farmer, Christ Prasad could not hold back his tears when he was informed of the amount he would have at 55 years, through consistent voluntary contribution payments. Mr Prasad visited the expo to check his balance and also sign up for the voluntary membership scheme.

“I am so happy today. To see how much I will be able to also leave for my children is a blessing. I will ensure to keep up with my payments and the same time I make deposits from my taxi earnings I will also deposit my FNPF contribution”, says 41 year old Mr Prasad.

The first three days of the expo has seen almost 700 members visiting the FNPF tent, at the Zion Assembly of God compound in Naqara with the most popular services being for Voluntary Membership (for both adults and minors), updating of Nominations and Additional Contributions and the myFNPF app.

However if there was one common issue that residents of Taveuni raised, it was the need to have an FNPF office on the island.

Timoci Kalousa, a Taveuni farmer, especially made a request for the Fund to seriously consider their plight as not only is it a need, the expenses incurred are unbearable.

“We have to travel to Savusavu and for some of us it is too expensive. We are realizing the important role FNPF plays and since most of us in Taveuni are farmers and we would like to invest with the FNPF. Having an office here, will ease the process”, Mr Kalousa adds.

In addition to the expo, the FNPF team has also been conducting awareness at various workplaces and schools targeting the civil service, students & teachers. In total, around 600 members attended these sessions which also included staff of Laucala Island, Matagi Island and the National Fire Authority.

FNPF General Manager Member Services, Alipate Waqairawai was enthralled with the reception in Taveuni.

“We continue to spread the message of saving for retirement in Taveuni. It is not too late to start saving and as we see with our Taveuni members majority of them are farming and have excess cash that they need to invest. The savings mindset already exists here but it just needs to be molded and with correct advise, which I believe is what we are achieving”

“The Fund as the custodian of members’ retirement savings is mandated to conduct these sorts of awareness to ensure that our members are provided with all the information they require to make good decisions about their future”, Mr Waqairawai stated.

The team also managed to visit employers and conduct compliance checks during this week on the island. The expo will end tomorrow, Saturday 15 June 2019, from 9am – 4pm.

The expo team will next target the Western and Central/Eastern regions before the end of this calendar year.

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