Greypower Commentary on the Fiji Sun article 15 September 2011  ‘No decision yet on pension review: FNPF’

Greypower supporters of the Burness v FNPF and AG case currently before the courts read the Fiji Sun story report on 15th September  that there had been ‘no decision yet on pension review’ with absolute amazement.

In one breath, in the same article, not to mention consistently in expensive advertisements, FNPF states that ‘no decision has been reached yet’  and  FNPF has ‘undertaken pension reform’. Now what does this mean? Either FNPF has not taken a decision (which means it may not happen) or they have ‘undertaken reform’ which means that it has happened already.

We cannot blame the Fiji Sun reporting for this contradictory information in the same story (editor Peter Lomas is a journalist so he is not likely to have got the language and expression wrong in his newspaper- or is he?).

Greypower gives a very clear message to FNPF- Do not say that you have ‘not reached a decision’, and at the same time say you have ‘undertaken pension reform’. Such inconsistent statements make you sound even more incompetent than normal.

Greypower also thinks this is a very sinister type of reporting.  This type of news released by FNPF is to try and influence the court in the Burness case that his and other pensioners’ applications should not be heard.  

FNPF and Government must really think pensioners are stupid and cannot see through their subterfuge. Worse, through these repeatedly contradictory articles, what are they telling the court through the back-door method of employing the media?  What a bunch!

Pensioners may have to wait a little bit longer before a decision is reached by the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) on the pension reforms.

 

FNPF chief executive officer Aisake Taito said the Fund was still in process of considering submissions received from the public consultations.

 

“We will then send our recommendations to the FNPF board for approval after which it will have to be tabled in Cabinet,” he said.

 

FNPF, in May, had organised a symposium to provide a forum for stakeholders to hear from experts and understand the issues and proposed policy solutions.

 

The symposium was used to introduce and explain changes to the pension scheme and design and reform of the future operation of Fiji’s retirement savings policy and industry.

 

Following this, the Fund embarked on a nationwide public consultation on the reforms essentially for members to hear and also submit their views and recommendations on the proposed changes to the Pension and FNPF Act.

 

Mr Taito, after the public consultations assured members that all submissions made at the consultations would be considered by the board before a final decision on the pension reform is made.

 

Pension reform was undertaken because according to FNPF, continuing to meet the future pension obligation was not sustainable in the long-term if the existing pension rates are not adjusted.

 

“Fiji needs a retirement savings scheme that is sustainable, transparent in its operations and fair to all members; future, current and those nearing retirement,” he said.

 

Mr Taito said the need for reforms to benefit designs, scheme structure and its administration is a long-standing issue and has been identified by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) through their joint Financial Sector Assessment Programme, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as well as Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and other consulting actuaries.

 

“There have been some amendments over the years but a comprehensive review of the scheme has been long overdue,” he had said then.

 

FNPF commenced on reforms in 2010 to ensure sustainable returns and delivery of excellent services to its members.

 

FNPF was established in 1966 to accept contributions from employers and employees that would be paid to the worker at retirement.

 

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