Fiji National Provident Fund reinstates unemployment withdrawals

Fiji’s pension fund has reinstated its usual unemployment withdrawal scheme following the end of its COVID-19 unemployment relief program that saw nearly $370 million paid out to members since April 2020.

The normal unemployment program allows members to withdraw between $100 and $2,000 from their members’ general accounts.

It replaces the COVID-19 program where $366.3 million – of which the Fijian Government provided $185.5 million – were paid out in 27 rounds to members who lost their jobs, on reduced pay, voluntary members as well as taxi, minibus drivers, and SMEs.

Chief Executive Officer Viliame Vodonaivalu said the Fund continues to monitor the economic conditions at a national level and their 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 Unemployment assistance within six 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 three months from the date of their last payment.

Members who have resigned can only apply three 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 one 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.”

Photo: FNPF

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories