Grey Power Commentary

Grey Power continues to be surprised at the number of FNPF advertisements appearing in the daily newspapers. Presumably these are paid advertisements, though the Saturday August 27th full page colour spread does not say ‘paid advertisement’ at the top of the page like the others did- this one could have been printed with the compliments of the Fiji Times, perhaps?

In any event, the contents of the August 27th advertisement are yet another example of the blinkered vision of the FNPF Trust and management. The complicated and verbiose text in the advertisement serves to further confuse the issues for the readers and, no doubt, is an expression of the confusion that reigns within the FNPF on how to resolve the pension scheme hot potato it finds itself suddenly holding.

One thing that strikes Grey Power is the guilt trip that FNPF in its advertisements continues to push the pensioners to go on, eg ‘Pensioners’ benefits are being subsidized by the current members’, and ‘so who should pay?’ (for the current benefits we guess this means)- the‘pensioners’ or the ‘current members’?

The choices FNPF gives are only two –  pensions can be paid by the pensioners themselves ( by accepting cuts) or by the current members subsidizing. But what if there are other choices? David Burness affidavits have been filed in court and served to FNPF and Government- perhaps the FNPF management should take the trouble to read about other options proposed. And to use their imagination, for a change.

Grey Power has the following questions for the FNPF and Government:

Question 1: how can reducing 1100 pensions (most in the 75 plus age group) help FNPF get out of the mess it created for itself? About 89% (below $800 pm) of the pensions will not now be touched as FNPF said in a previous advertisement. Surely FNPF cannot be saved merely by reducing the 1100 remaining pensions?

Question 2: what happened to the investments? How come they did not return what they could have done? We want the books opened please, as beneficiaries are entitled to ask.

Question 3: To FNPF’s question in its advertisement: ‘Who should pay?’, the answer lies within: FNPF and the Government should pay i.e. those who made the decision to lie to the pensioners, take their contributions and invest them badly at the time the contributions were still functional, and not give them any information about their own savings and what FNPF was doing with them when there is no Parliament (where these things could have been debated), and after 2009 when the Constitution, which protected older persons’ human rights, was abrogated leaving them with no recourse whatsoever to obtain information and express their opinion on their own pensions. The poor quality FNPF presentations made around the country do not count as ‘consultations’ and was hardly democratic as FNPF would like to claim. The FNPF management team did not even know how to answer questions from the floor and ignored most of them. In some instances the team’s presentations relied on handwritten graphs.

Last question: Are we ( FNPF beneficiaries and members) paying the salaries of such incompetents in the FNPF management team?  The quality of the relentless series of advertisements shows they may not even be qualified to hold these management posts. 


To see an illustration of the FNPF advertisement, click Continue Reading >