This website was launched to make information available to the public about the government’s intention to cut Fiji pensioner’s superannuation payments by two thirds.
All workers in Fiji compulsorily belong to the Fiji National Provident Fund and all employers compulsorily contribute to each worker member’s account. No other superannuation schemes were permitted after the FNPF was established in the 1960s.
When FNPF members retire, they can take their savings in a lump sum, but an excellent “pension” payment was offered to encourage people to leave the bulk of their funds and take monthly payments. The FNPF was responsible for making sound investments with the members’ contribution money.
Under pressure from previous governments, the FNPF board, which is charged with looking after the members’ interests, was pressured into a series of unwise investments that have lost many millions of dollars.
In 2011, the FNPF management announced that the pensions were to be cut by two-thirds, even though the FNPF pension is a superannuation payment, and not a state pension.
The cut in payments would plunge many pensioners into poverty, at an age where they have few alternatives for earning income.
A 70-year-old pensioner, David Burness, and a group of others have begun a class action to take the matter to court, while the government has delayed the decree to cut the pensions, originally due on 1 July, to September.
The government and FNPF have access to the media and have made statements and placed advertisements accusing those objecting to the cut in superannuation of being merely “self interested”.
However, media censorship is still operating in Fiji and has prevented the FNPF members from giving statements and information about the severe disadvantages and injustices current and future pensioners face, leaving many in ignorance.
We hope that this Forum will be used by both Fiji pensioners and the public to obtain and share information, and express opinions… with the ultimate aim of protecting the integrity of their pensions while holding the FNPF Board and management to ethical standards.
In the process of our work to rescue and defend our FNPF pensions we have found many like-minded articles from around the world and will publish those as a way of informing, educating and engaging with the people affected or likely to be affected by the proposed FNPF review of pensions already awarded to the retired.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls said:
Glad to have found your website! With a mum on a pension and also working with a number of retirees but also women from the informal sector, am glad tohear the voice of seniors – even though sadly not on public media! Do let me know if our community radio can assist.
Talei Burness was a staunch supporter of the regime from day #1….until it became obvious to her that a coup would generate at least 10 years of economic stagnation (we had 4 years of negative growth after 2006 despite massive borrowing from overseas and that money will have to be paid back in the future which will harm economic growth) and of course the pension scheme would more or less collapse. I can only assume that David Burness is the husband. This shows how selfish some people are. Shame on you, you truly deserve what’s happening to you.
David Burness is her brother in law.