6 Dec 2011

FNPF defends legality of pension fund reforms

2:33 pm on 6 December 2011

The head of Fiji's National Provident Fund has defended the legality of its new scheme, brought in by decree by Fiji's interim regime.

The Fund's CEO, Aisake Taito, was responding to criticism long-standing contracts have been broken.

Sally Round reports.

"Changes to the long-established national pension scheme include refunds on original sums invested and top ups for pensioners on lower payouts. Some pensioners are angry, not because they're against reform but because they have long-standing contracts with the Fund which they say should not be trashed. Mr Taito says the new scheme has been created well within legal structures and endorsed by the Solicitor General. He says the scheme is fair, equitable and sustainable and the best thing for Fiji as a nation and the reforms have been supported by the Reserve Bank, the IMF and World Bank. The legality of changes was due to be tested in the Fiji courts in a human rights case brought by pensioner David Burness but that now looks in doubt as the regime has also decreed no legal challenge is allowed."