The Fiji National Provident Fund COVID-19 Unemployment assistance will reopen next Monday for the continuation of Phases two, four and the Voluntary members relief and the new rounds will only be available to members with sufficient General Account balance.
The Acting CEO, Viliame Vodonaivalu says the relief will only assist those who meet the criteria and could fully self-fund from their General Account balances.
Vodonaivalu says as announced in the National Budget address, members will only be able to access the FNPF relief if they meet the minimum General Account balance requirement, which is $755 for the next rounds of the Fund’s COVID-19 relief.
He says those who do not qualify, are advised to seek Government assistance directly.
Vodonaivalu adds it is important to note that Government has been fully and partially subsidizing thousands of members in the previous rounds of phases two and three and this shift to a direct approach on Government’s part, is an extension of the relief they had been providing since April 2020.
He says the Government assistance is also available for members who have sufficient General Account balance (minimum $755) but would rather not withdraw their retirement savings adding this is a good initiative by Government as an alternative for members who are conscious of the importance of maintaining their savings with the Fund.
Vodonaivalu says these members can opt for either the FNPF COVID-19 relief or the Government Unemployment benefit, but they cannot apply for both.
He further says similar to the Government’s unemployment assistance, the Fund will also disburse payments in two installments over a six-month period.
Meanwhile, the Fund has also revised its existing Small Account full withdrawal to allow members with a total FNPF balance of $10,000 or less, to fully withdraw their funds if they have been unemployed for 12 months or more.
The Fund says currently, the withdrawal ceiling for Small Accounts, which will now be known as the Low Balance Account Withdrawal, is $5,000 for members between 50 to 54 years old.
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