Despite having been constantly under the spotlight for undertaking major reforms this year, Fiji’s only superannuation fund has recorded a significant 16 per cent increase in the net operating surplus for 2011.

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) yesterday announced a net operating surplus of $242.6 million for the financial year ended June 30, 2011 compared to $209.5m in 2010.

A major contributor to this considerable increase was growth in investment income which grew steadily from $221.7m in 2010 to $240.4m in 2011 representing a 6.8 per cent return on investments.

The increase in net surplus follows an asset write-back of $30.4m at an early stage of the investment rehabilitation programme in September.

Fund chief executive Aisake Taito said the improved performance was reassuring and demonstrated that FNPF continued to make good progress in delivering what had been set out to be achieved for the period.

“The performance sets a good platform for the FNPF reforms aimed at

ensuring the long term sustainability of the fund and improving services to stakeholders.

“2011 was the first year of implementation of the reforms where we began to address core issues facing the fund. The reforms required comprehensive planning and major decisions to be taken and warranted the full support of key stakeholders,” he said.

Mr Taito stressed that although a surplus had been recorded, the operating environment had been a challenging one characterised by subdued investment, high inflation and declining interest rates.

“This was further worsened by the uncertainty in the global economy particularly the emergence of the debt crisis in the Euro zone,” he said.

Mr Taito reiterated the fund’s core functions, which was to collect contributions, to grow them and ensure that members retired comfortably, were becoming stronger.

“Our focus remains to deliver excellent services and ensure that the fund remains sustainable in the long term,” he said.

Other highlights of the audited accounts showed FNPF:

l Total assets increased to $3.8 billion from $3.5bn in 2010;

l Members’ balance grew by $100m to $3.0bn from $2.9bn last year;

l Contributions grew by 3.8 per cent to a record of $303.5m reflecting improved enforcement and compliance. This was however offset by withdrawals of $309.5m leading to a negative net contribution of $6.0m;

l Increased offshore investments to $114.2m aimed at diversifying the investment portfolio;

l Active members grew by 7.3 per cent to 302,729;

l Employers totalled 7508 compared to 7105 in 2010; and,

l Unpaid contributions decreased by 8.5 per cent from $9.0m last year to $8.2m.

Rachina Lal Fiji Sun

Grey Power says:
Now that the FNPF is on its way to profit-making; Grey Power would hope
that the pensions of those already retired will no longer need to be cut.

Clearly there was no basis for FNPF managements previous claims that the current pensioners are a danger to the Fund because they have lived too long, nor was there any justification for their cry’s of havoc, and releasing the dogs of stress and fear on the elderly of Fiji.