Key points on Meeting between Tevita Nagataleka and Christopher Jackson MarHeld at Sheraton Fiji Resort on 04 February, 2012 from 10:00 to 11:30 am.
I have been very impressed with your extensive research and the information that you have provided me. This is the reason that I decided to meet with you.
I would also like to show my appreciation for your efforts in meeting with me. One of the great frustrations of pensioners is that neither FNPF decision making executives nor government ministers are willing to meet pensioners to exchange views in a meaningful, professional and constructive way..
Impact resulting from reduction in pension. I would like to outline my life experience so that you can understand my position. I started earning an income at the tender age of 12. I have only a high school education but have participated in ongoing executive management development programs including a six-week executive management development program at theUniversityofHawaii.. My career spans from being a bank clerk, airline accountant, senior executive management positions in the hotel industry including company secretary, financial controller, resort manager, owners’ representative and chief executive officer. The companies include Fiji Resorts Limited (owning company for Shangri-la Fiji Resort), Four Seas Regent Resort, Raratongan Beach Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, Richmond Limited (owners of Sofitel Fiji Resort). I was also a past director of Denarau Corporation Limited for three years.
It took years to plan my retirement finances and every dollar saved with the FNPF was entrusted to the Fund for a contracted life time pension. Now at age nearing 69 years, my pension (if I decide to accept one again) would be reduced by more than half.
In my advanced age, it would create an untenable financial blow resulting in a substantial reduction in my living standard, dependence on our children and eventual sale of our home in order to make ends meet.
As you grow older many expenses increase e.g. medication, dietary requirements, tertiary medical, old age care, inflation (pension is not subject to inflation adjustment as with Fiji government pensions) etc.
It would also have a very negative psychological impact on me, and many pensioners are in a similar cruel predicament.
There is a need to understand the underlying principles of the reform i.e. sustainable, non-discriminatory and no cross subsidy.
Sustainability and FNPF’s capacity to pay pensions are dependent on returns on investment, life expectancy and pension take up rate.
Initially the take up rate was very low and FNPF encouraged and promoted members to take up pensions.
Many countries are also reducing pension rates and pensioners need to face reductions. Pensioners have received large payments many times what have been paid for annuities and the offer to pensioners is fair.