New laws to come into effect on 1 Nov, limited services from 28 Oct to 24 Nov, 2014
The Fiji National Provident Fund will transit into its new systems and processes at the end of this month.
FNPF Chief Executive Mr Aisake Taito said this was a crucial part of the FNPF Reform that involves the overhaul of its information technology systems and the introduction of new processes that will lift service standards to customers.
Mr Taito announced that:
1. Provisions and Regulations related to the FNPF Decree 2011 that were postponed will now come into effect on 1 November, 2014. This follows the publication of the Government of Fiji Gazette Supplement Legal Notice 62, signed by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, today.
2. The transition into these new Provisions and Regulations, with major changes to the Fundâ€™s systems and processes, will be undertaken from 28 October to 24 November, 2014.
Mr Taito said the implementation of the key provisions of the Decree would improve the retirement benefits of all members.
â€śThe new provisions include strengthened enforcement and compliance intended to protect membersâ€™ interest through the timely payment of contributions owed to them. It also provides for cooperation between the Fund and employers to ensure membersâ€™ contributions are accurately posted to their accounts,â€ť Mr Taito said.
â€śMembers will also get to preserve more for retirement. This ties in with the core function of the FNPF, which is to secure membersâ€™ future for retirement.â€ť
Transition Period â€“ 28 October to 24 November, 2014
Mr Taito said that to ensure smooth transition, the Fund would provide limited services from 28 October to 24 November, 2014
â€śThe transition would also involve transferring the data of over 395,000 members and 8,900 employers.
â€śIt is therefore important that this is done right, as it is crucial to the successful implementation of the changes that will affect members and employers.â€ť
Limited Services during Transition Period
Withdrawal by Members
1. During the transition period, the Fund will only accept withdrawals on the following grounds;
- Medical full withdrawal
- Funeral assistance
- Medical Assistance - local and overseas medical assistance,
- Special Death Benefit $2000 assistance.
2. The Fund will not accept applications for the following;
- Housing Assistance urban and village housing assistance
- Education â€“ local and overseas
- All other services that may not have been listed in (1) above.
Mr Taito has urged members that need to withdraw under grounds listed in 2. above to do so by 27 October, 2014.
He also clarified that applications received on or before 27 October will be processed under the current withdrawal guidelines.
â€śApplications received after 1 November, 2014 will be subjected to the new laws that will come into effect then.â€ť
He added that FNPF will publicise the new withdrawal guidelines and eligibilities before 1 November, 2014.
What will come into effect on 1 November, 2014?
Effective, 1 November, 2014, new laws and regulations with Employers provisions as specified in the FNPF Decree 2011 that were postponed will come into effect. These include penalties and compulsory submissions of Contributions Schedule or Remittance Statements with contribution payments.
Establishment of Two Accounts for Members
The new regulations would see the establishment of two accounts for members. This means that effective 1 November, 2014, all members account will be divided into the Preserved (70 per cent of your balance as of midnight of 31 October, 2014) and General (the remaining 30 per cent).
The Preserved account is reserved for retirement while the General account can be accessed by members for pre-retirement or early withdrawals inclusive of education, medical, unemployment, housing and funeral, as per approved withdrawal guidelines.
Members accessing their Funds for their first property can access 30 per cent of their Preserved account in addition to the 30 per cent available from their General account.
Additional Contributions by Members
Another key advantage of the new laws is the Additional Contribution by Members â€“ this allows members to save more than the mandatory 8% contributions from their salary to increase their retirement savings.
Mr Taito said details of these changes will be communicated to members.
He reiterated that FNPF was committed to safeguarding the rights of members.
â€śThe enhancement of the value of membersâ€™ hard-earned savings will continue to be our top priority.
â€śWe would like to encourage all our members to contact us if they need further information regarding these changes.â€ť