TC Winston

FNPF receives 51,000 applications for assistance

More than 51,000 applications have been received by the Fiji National Provident Fund for the Cyclone Winston Natural Disaster assistance as of 5pm yesterday. Chief Operating Officer Jaoji Koroi confirmed that about $4million would be paid to members’ accounts by this afternoon. Majority of the payments are for those members applying for the $1,000 assistance. […]

Calvin Prasad

March 7, 2016 3:05 pm

More than 51,000 applications have been received by the Fiji National Provident Fund for the Cyclone Winston Natural Disaster assistance as of 5pm yesterday.

Chief Operating Officer Jaoji Koroi confirmed that about $4million would be paid to members’ accounts by this afternoon.

Majority of the payments are for those members applying for the $1,000 assistance. Additional resources have been sought to meet the operation challenge given the high number of applications received.

To put into perspective, FNPF received a total of 65,000 applications (average of 2,500 per week) for the 12 months to June 2015. For the Cyclone Evans assistance provided in 2014, the Fund received 8,164 applications and paid out $7.4million.

In one week, we have received about 51,000 applications and expect a similar number to be lodged at our offices within the next two weeks. We have diverted all of our resources to Cyclone Winston natural assistance given the enormity of the exercise. We are pleading for our members’ understanding and patience in regards to delays that they may face in relation to payments.”

FNPF teams are also currently deployed in Koro, Levuka, Naigani, Ra, Tavua, Navua and Tailevu North.

We will be reviewing and pulling back from some of these areas early in the week to ensure that we cover other areas that need our assistance. We hope to cover Vanuabalavu, Taveuni, Laucala and Naitasiri in the next couple of days.

Mr Koroi has again emphasized the need for members to fully understand the implications of accessing their retirement savings.

Any withdrawal from your general eligibility will affect future withdrawals and your total balance. It may mean that you will have to forego some other assistance provided by the Fund, especially for those with low eligibility.

FNPF revises forms for relief payout, warns against false claims

Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) members will now complete the Statutory Declaration forms for Natural Disaster Assistance, which replace the FNPF application forms that were issued previously for the withdrawal of $1000 and $5000, respectively.

A statement released last week said the revised forms are simple and easy to complete and capture minimum information required to process payments.

The two (2) Statutory Declaration forms are as follows:

  1.  $1000 Natural Disaster assistance (Form ND1000)
  2. $5000 Quick Repairs housing assistance for member/family-owned property (Form ND5000)

The law requires the information provided in the Statutory Declaration forms to be true.

FNPF inspectors will visit members to ensure that funds withdrawn have been used for the purposes stated in the forms.

It is a crime under section 180 of the Crimes Decree 2009 to knowingly make untrue statements in a statutory declaration. If you are found guilty of making an untrue statement, you may be fined or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to one year.

The assistance is still based on eligibility in a member’s general account.  The hard and soft copies of Statutory Declaration forms are available from all FNPF offices and website www.myfnpf.com.fj.

Attorney General and Minister for Finance Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday welcomed the relaxation of requirements for FNPF members to receive natural disaster assistance.

In a statement, the AG said this was a positive step towards alleviating the urgent needs of affected Fijians.

“In the areas I’ve visited in the Western Division, these new requirements have brought a sense of relief as they make it much easier for FNPF members to recover quickly from this crisis,” Minister Sayed-Khayum said.

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) on Monday announced it had relaxed the requirements for Natural Disaster Assistance based on initial assessments and feedback from its members.

In a meeting on Monday 29/02/16, the Board approved the relaxation of the requirements as listed below:

  • All members affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston can apply for the $1000 assistance and Quick Repairs housing assistance of $5000
  • In addition, members, who wish to help their immediate family in affected areas, are also eligible for the assistance.
  • FNPF teams will no longer inspect or visit villages/settlement or members’ houses to verify members’ residential addresses
  • The $1000 assistance is available to members regardless of the classification of their dwelling (eg. agricultural lease, squatter, village, agreement for lease, instrument of tenancy such as titles etc.).

This facility would be open for the next 60 days and would be reviewed at the end of this period.

FNPF Board Chairman Ajith Kodagoda announced the relaxation of the requirements to ensure that members can access their funds to help them rebuild their lives.

“Whilst we understand there may be some abuse given these relaxation, it is our hope that a majority of our members will be assisted,” Mr Kodagoda said.

“I wish to apologise for the delays taken in mobilizing FNPF assistance to those of our members who need funds to rebuild their lives following the devastation by Winston.

“The Board has decided, with immediate effect, that all requirements related to the assistance offered by the Fund will be relaxed to ensure that our members have access to funds that can assist themselves or their families in rebuilding their lives immediately.”

Mr Kodagoda said the Board empathized with the suffering endured by FNPF members, and hoped that the relaxation of these requirements will provide relief and peace of mind to our members.

“I also wish to acknowledge the efforts of our FNPF teams who have been out inspecting devastated areas and we thank them for their hard work and dedication,” Mr Kodagoda said.

Members are reminded that the assistance is subject to eligibility in their General Account, subject to audit post disbursement.

“Any withdrawal under the Natural Disaster assistance will result in the general reduction of members’ general account and their total balance.”

FNPF branches will now receive applications from members in Suva, Nausori, Ba, Lautoka, Labasa, Savusavu and Nadi.

Temporary offices will be set up in Tavua and Rakiraki to cater specifically for this assistance.  Meanwhile, the Fund paid out the first batch of $1000 to members in worst affected areas today.

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