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Friday, January 26, 2007

FNPF to be reviewed

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) is to undergo a review by the Interim Government. This has been announced after the Fund's Chief Executive Officer and his deputy were both sent on leave with immediate effect late afternoon, Thursday, 25 January 2007.

The review will cover, among others, concerns about the capabilities of management, their salaries and overheads and the viability of some of the Fund's investments.

FNPF is the sole pension fund provider in Fiji and has been in operation since the mid 1960s. After the failure of some of its counterparts in other Pacific Island countries, e.g. Vanuatu, there have been rising concerns about the continued viability of the FNPF and some criticisms about the investments that it got into.

Some of the difficulties faced by the FNPF includes its restrictions in investing freely offshore with Exchange Control regulations in place by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. This tends to limit its investments to those that are available domestically, which in some cases are not entirely optimal for members' interests.

An assessment done by the ILO of the Fund's pension reserves states that it would run out of Funds in the late 2010s or early 2020s. Extending that timeframe is a challenge for the Fund's own management and for Government and the country as a whole.

We hope that the review by the Interim Government will be able to steer the Fund in a clear direction in future with the ultimate objective of providing for its members in their twilight years.

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