25 Mar 2009

Change in withdrawal policies for Fiji's National Provident fund cause concern

3:50 pm on 25 March 2009

Fiji Islands Congress of Trade Unions has criticised radical changes to withdrawal policies of the Fiji National Provident Fund without consulting the members fully and without sufficient notice.

Since the announcement on Monday, there has been a sudden rush of withdrawal applications from members, before the policy changes take effect on April 6.

The union's general secretary Attar Singh says that this Fund is crucial to helping many poorer people survive, many of whom are now likely to miss out on being able to use it in a variety of ways, in future.

"Particularly now in a depressed economy with wages stagnant and rising inflation and so forth most of our members and other working families have been relying on the superannuation fund to educate their children. Children and their older siblings and also in many cases withdrawing to assist themselves in upskilling and short courses and things like that."