FIJI PENSION FUND REOPENS DISASTER WITHDRAWALS

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Members in affected areas may withdraw $571 per household

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 9, 2012) – Hundreds in the Western Division will find relief in the Fiji National Provident Fund's (FNPF) decision to reactivate its natural disaster partial withdrawal scheme.

A press statement issued by the fund yesterday stated that the board's approval was based on humanitarian grounds.

Chief executive officer Aisake Taito said: "As a corporate citizen, the FNPF has a social responsibility to assist our members re-build their lives after the devastation of the flood."

"Members' applications will need to be verified by the district officers or delegated officials to ascertain damage to their properties."

Mr. Taito said the verification process would also include an inspection by the team from the fund who would be based in the flood affected areas.

"We have put in place checks and controls to help us determine the validity of the claims."

Members should have partial withdrawal eligibility and that the maximum allowed for withdrawal is FJ$1,000 [US$571] per household and members should reside in affected areas as defined by the Disaster Management Centre (DISMAC), he said.

Meanwhile, assistant Roko Tui Ba Sivo Nadumu yesterday accompanied FNPF staff members assessing flood affected areas in Ba.

"Villagers crowded the officers as they went about inspecting homes," said Mr. Nadumu.

Votua assistant village headman Naborosio Nailesu thanked the government and the FNPF for their assistance.

"We hardly saved anything from the flood."

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