17 Jun 2009

Fiji retirement fund members should oppose regime move, says academic

10:27 pm on 17 June 2009

An academic says Fiji's retirement fund members need to oppose the interim government's move to slash pension entitlements and charge withdrawal fees.

Dr Ropate Qalo of USP's School of Social Sciences says Fiji's National Provident Fund has suffered from poor management, a lack of accountability and poor investment decisions.

Dr Qalo says the government's borrowing of further money from the Fund has seen entitlements slashed with pension annuity dropping from 15 percent to around 11 percent.

And with inflation, the rising cost of living and the recession, he says the real return to many pensioners is poor.

"We're all concerned. There's been writing in the newspaper. There's a debate going on. See people find it hard to save. And the only savings they have is this superannuation this fund. And for education, for building houses, and those kind of things, the Fund feels that is necessary for investment they can give the fund to members. And then they've now started charging for every application like that."

Dr Ropate Qalo