What Goes Up Must Come Down: New Revelations on FNPF Pensions and Rick Rickman's Letter
By Leone Cabenatabua in the Fiji Sun
Some Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) pensioners have been paid more than three times what they and their employer contributed towards their pension, it has been revealed.
Documents obtained by the Fiji Sun indicated that some have received more than $1 million from the fund. This is even when they had only $300,000 as their pension amount. When contacted yesterday about the documents the FNPF failed to respond before this edition went to press.
The FNPF is analysing and evaluating submissions made by the public over its proposed review of its Act and Pension Scheme. It is looking at reducing the pension rate from 15 per cent to nine. This is to ensure the fund remains sustainable and can pay people who are working now for their pension in the years ahead.
These payouts have been ongoing since way before 2006.
FNPF consultant Shauna Tomkins said earlier that the current policy was paying out pensioners at the cost of current members' contributions. This is as numerous pensioners are still on 25 per cent and 15 per cent rate.
The documents with the Fiji Sun reveal the following payments done to pensioners as to date. Names of the pensioners are withheld.
- Pensioner A. Retired in 2002 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $320,000. Amount paid by FNPF to date is $612,000. Receiving a monthly payment of $5800.
- Pensioner B. Retired in 1999 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $353,000. Amount paid by FNPF to date is $1.1m. Monthly payment of $7400.
- Pensioner C. Retired in 1990 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $71,000. Amount paid by FNPF to date is $341,000. Receiving a monthly payment of $1480
- Pensioner D. Retired in 1992 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $95,000Amount paid by FNPF to date is $285,000. Receiving a monthly allowance of $1300.
- Pensioner E. Retired in 1989 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $110,000. Amount paid by FNPF to date is $598,000. Receiving a monthly payment of $2300.
- Pensioner F. Retired in 1996 with a FNPF pensionable balance of $389,000. Amount paid by FNPF to date is $1.3 million. Receiving a monthly allowance of $7000.
To justify the reduction of FNPF pensions your reporter used six examples out of 11,000 (Your headline Saturday, July 2).
Of course those examples had to be the most extreme.
Clearly your reporter has a source within the FNPF management, since their whole campaign has been to base the blame for the present situation on the pensioners (which in fact has been brought about by management’s previous changes in the structure of the buffer fund).
Why did you not ask your source how many pensioners had died within 1,2,3,4 and 5 years of signing a contract for a monthly agreed pension and what happened to those funds?
Why did you not seek the average paid and include that in your article, or would the censors not permit it?
Why did you not ask for access to independent reports that have been critical of the funds present management, and have been withheld from the members?
Why did you choose not to fully publish a comprehensive analysis?
The ripples of this rock in the pond will go on.
There will be a great many more people who will not be able to justify the 50 cents or 80 cents for your daily publication.
Every area of the nation will feel the effects of any drastic changes in current pensions, which your newspaper appears to support.
The sun should rise in the East, not sink to the depths it sank to today