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FNPF Partners With Reserve Bank And Financial Institutions For Retirement Expo

  More than 20,000 people over 55 years of age have no money saved in their Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) accounts, statistics show. Some 300,000 people – around 73
20 Apr 2018 10:00
FNPF Partners With Reserve Bank And Financial Institutions For Retirement Expo
Fiji National Provident Fund chief executiv officer Jaoji Koroi. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

 

More than 20,000 people over 55 years of age have no money saved in their Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) accounts, statistics show.

Some 300,000 people – around 73 per cent – have balances below $10,000. Low wages and frequent withdrawals have been blamed for the numbers.

As the fund prepares for the launch of its Retirement Expo next week, the statistics re­veal the scale of task facing newly-appointed chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi.

With less than five per cent having balances above $50,000, the message during the expo will be clear: It’s not too late.

“The reality of the situation on the ground is sad,” said Mr Koroi at a press briefing in Suva yesterday. “Majority of our people are retiring with low balances.

“We are taking action to encourage our citi­zens to rethink their retirement. We want them to first understand that retirement is a certainty in life and whether they have enough saved to live comfortably after retire­ment.”

But it is not all “sad” news.

In the last five years FNPF’s total member balance increased by $1.5 billion, from which $1 billion alone was from total interests cred­ited.

Public Awareness

Low FNPF balances mean less options and insecurity in retirement, Mr Koroi said.

Recent policy changes at FNPF have been framed on fewer withdrawals and stringent saving plans.

Public awareness has also been a key fea­ture of this. The fund has increased its pres­ence on Facebook and engages more often with mainstream media.

These strategies allow Mr Koroi and the fund to “effectively engage with the mem­bers” and ensure members don’t only come to FNPF when it is time to withdraw.”

“We believe awareness can empower our members,” said FNPF general manager Ali­pate Waqairawai.

“We want to tell people that the best time for them to prepare for retirement is when they are young.”

The expo begins on Monday at the Down­town Boulevard in Suva.

Fifty-five-year-old Isikeli Taoi, a senior banker with Bank South Pacific, thinks the timing of it is apt.

“You have to prioritise your spending so you can secure a future for not only yourself but also for your children,” the senior man­ager rural in the microfinance department said.

He has six children and said he had already purchased land and divided it amongst them.

FNPF is partnering with the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce and the United Nations Pacific Fi­nancial Inclusion Programme for the expo.

Similar expos are planned for the West­ern and Northern Division in the coming months.

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

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