THE Fiji National Provident Fund Decree 2011 requires the Fund to set up two accounts for all members — Preserved and General —which basically means your total savings will be divided into these two accounts with particular restrictions on its use.

The Fund revealed earlier the implementation date for this process was January 2013 but chief executive officer Aisake Taito yesterday revealed necessary systems and business processes need to be in place before its actual implementation.

“The (FNPF) decree was promulgated on November 25, 2011. The fund is currently implementing provisions of the decree but members will continue to access their funds (as is the current practice) according to the provisions of the decree,” Mr Taito said.

“FNPF is a retirement fund and our core role is to ensure members accumulate savings for a meaningful retirement.”

Those particularly concerned about how these two accounts would affect their pension after retirement, Mr Taito assured the total funds in the Preserved and General accounts will be made available should a member decide to retire either at 55 years or later.

“The member has the choice on how he or she wishes to allocate this sum into the various retirement products FNPF provides which includes a full lump sum withdrawal,” he clarified.

According to a Fact Sheet from the fund, members will be advised well in advance of the implementation date of these two accounts.

“The Preserved account, which will constitute 70 per cent of your total savings with FNPF, will be set aside for your pension.

“As a pension fund, the FNPF must ensure that members have enough funds set aside for this purpose,” the fund said.

The General account, which will make up the remaining 30 per cent of a member’s balance, can be assessed for partial withdrawal under approved grounds like education, medical, housing, funeral and unemployment assistance.

Ideally, the Fact Sheet also includes tips for first time property buyers who will be allowed to access up to 30 per cent of their Preserved account if they are applying for assistance to buy their first property — be it a new home or a piece of land.

“This will be in addition to the 30 per cent from your General account thus you can access 51 per cent of your total FNPF savings (30 per cent plus 30 per cent of the 70 per cent) for this purpose,” the fund said.