Another round of FNPF and Govt assistance announced
Acting CEO says Govt now topping up funds for many affected members

Another round of FNPF and Govt assistance announced

Acting CEO says Govt now topping up funds for many affected members

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 03/06/2021
[Image: file photo]

The Fiji National Provident Fund Acting CEO Viliame Vodonaivalu has today acknowledged Government’s continued support, especially since majority of the members accessing Phases 2 and 3, are now being subsidised through the top-up.

Vodonaivalu says more than 59,000 members accessed Phases 2 Round 5 and 3 Round 4.

He says payments for more than 47,000 of these members have either been partially or fully topped up by Government because their general account balance is insufficien.

FNPF says the COVID-19 relief for members who qualify under Phase 3 opens today.

This is for the FNPF members who are on reduced hours and reduced wage rate.

The Fund says Phase 2 and the $220 Lockdown Relief opens on Wednesday 9th June 2021.

This follows Government’s announcement of the extension of the phases for two additional payments, until the end of June 2021.

The Fund says automatically registered, Phase 2 Round 6 and Lockdown Relief FNPF members who accessed Phase 2 Round 5, will be registered automatically based on the consent provided in their last application.

However, members who have contributions paid for February to May 2021, will need to reapply, if they remain unemployed.

This for the $220 fortnightly payment.

Unemployed members accessing Phase 2 Round 6 will qualify for a total payout of $440, which will be paid over two instalments in the month of June.

The Lockdown Relief for working member’s impacted by the containment situation, is also being topped up by Government.

Of the 22,013 members that accessed this relief, 7,165 have received Government top-up.

Members who have already accessed the Lockdown Relief, will also be automatically registered.

This is especially for members who had applied before the end of the first round on 31st May 2021. These members and new applicants will be paid a total of $440, split into two fortnightly payments of $220.

Vodonaivalu says it’s important to note that the Lockdown Relief is not open to members’ currently accessing phases 2 or 3 and vice versa.

Acting-CEO

He says members can only access one relief at a time.

The Acting CEO of FNPF says they will inform members via SMS blast if their applications will be automatically registered for Phase 2 Round 6 and for Lockdown Round 2.

Both relief will open on 9th June 2021 and close for submissions on 25th June 2021.

Phase 3 Round 5 members who qualify under Phase 3 Round 5, will have to re-apply to ensure their employers select the category of reduced hours that are applicable to them.

The payout for those in this category is $44 to $176 per cycle for two fortnights.

Those who had their wage rate or salary reduced, will now qualify for $110 or $220 per cycle for two fortnights, depending on the percentage reduction they fall under.

FNPF says employers must ensure that they are correctly selecting the assistance category for their staff so that it reflects their current arrangement.

Vodonaivalu says they have zero tolerance for fraud and if anyone, be it employer or member, is found in breach, they will alert the relevant authorities.

The Fund is activating another round of Phase 4 withdrawal for members who were unemployed from 1st January 2010 to 30th September 2019, and remain unemployed.

This also includes taxi, minivan or hire vehicle drivers and small business operators. To qualify, the member must have at least one contribution between 2010 to 2019, must have a minimum general account balance of $85 and can apply for a lump sum payment of $50 to $440.

Meanwhile the Fiji National Provident Fund will extend the COVID-19 Home Loan Assistance, which was due to close on 30th June but will now close on 30th September 2021.

FNPF says of the 374 applications received to date, 211 members have been assisted, with a payout of more than $2.3 million to banks and lending institutions.



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