2nd quarter, 2007

THE Fiji National Provident Fund’s legal department recovered $2.36million in member contributions from defaulting employers for the financial year 2007. The interim report from the department states that $1.442m was recovered from employers before cases were filed in court. A further $216,184 was recovered through debt recovery and $119,141 was recovered through court orders. It also states that $581,032 was recovered, through prosecution in court, from 48 employers. These employers were also fined. The recovery process is part of an intensive exercise to recoup a considerable amount of money employers owe FNPF as part of contributions to the superannuation scheme. The Fund’s Acting Chief Executive Mr Aisake Taito says the non-payment of FNPF contribution is a

Millions recovered in unpaid contributions

Members need to frequently check that their FNPF account is up to date.

serious offence and can lead to prosecution. “Employers need to remit these contributions on time to enable us to credit the amount into the members’ accounts

- otherwise, the FNPF will not hesitate in prosecuting employers who fail to comply with the law,” Mr Taito says. Mr Taito urges members who are aware that their

employers do not pay their FNPF contributions to lodge complaints with the Fund. “Once complaints are received, our Employers Team will look into the complaints. Complainants are required to bring evidence of employment as this helps in the investigation and if successful, we are able to get the employers to pay the contributions.” Mr Taito adds the Fund will not hesitate to prosecute defaulting employers if the need arises. The FNPF Act states that all employers need to pay contributions and submit contribution forms, register an employee, pay surcharges when applicable and produce documents as required by the Fund. Employers can be fined up to $500 and can be sent to jail for a maximum of 12 months if they fail to comply with the Act.

Staff embrace good Corporate Governance
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- Fong heads Customer Service - FNPF wins Annual Report Competition - Datta’s on Board - Have a complaint?

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Bank account details Fund pays out $128.9 million FNPF goes to Showcase Chaudhary visits FNPF What you need to know

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- Saving for the little things in life

PRACTISING good corporate governance is a must for an organization like the Fiji National Provident Fund. This is one of the reasons the Fund’s Board, Management and Staff have undertaken awareness training on this important concept. Acting Chief Executive Mr Aisake Taito says the Fund has had to review all of its existing policies and risks to ensure proper frameworks are in place to enhance compliance. “At the end of the day, however, we recognize that it’s the people that will implement these policies; and therefore

there was a need to address the importance of compliance, thus the workshops,” Mr Taito says. “These workshops are intended to promote and strengthen good corporate governance in the Fund and the need for all staff, management and the Board to work together towards this goal.” The workshops highlighted recent high-profile corporate failures, which have increased government’s and regulators’ concerns for good corporate governance. The obvious result would be an imposition of stringent requirements on public corporations.

“In the Fiji context FNPF is not an exception,” Mr Taito says. “Some of the new regulatory requirements imposed on the Fund include RBF’s prudential supervision Policy Statements 1 and 2, the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (on Money Laundering) and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Act.” “Directors and Trustees worldwide are being held responsible for all aspects of corporate performance especially in the management of key business risks.

Fong heads Customer Service
IT was tough growing up in a family where seven siblings learned many things about becoming better persons in life. However, this upbringing has helped the Fund’s Customer Services Manager, Annie Fong, (pictured, left) face tough issues that confront her at work on a daily basis. Ms Fong says she is focused on providing satisfaction to thousands of FNPF members who frequent FNPF Customer Services Centre at Downtown Boulevard in Suva, for complaints, general queries, member services and everything associated with their accounts. She says ultimately the Fund would like to see an improvement in the delivery of quality services to all its customers, especially members. “I would like to work with improving and streamlining our processes, building the Customer Service team and also look into the accessibility level that members can have with our services,” says Ms Fong. “I feel for the members especially in the current economic situation. However, we can only work within the Fund’s approved guidelines and policies because at the end of the day, we are here for another important purpose, and that is to make sure that members are financially secure when they retire.” Despite the many changes taking place, Fong has assured customers that the FNPF Customer Service would continue to improve its services. “Members should expect more changes as we are living in a changing environment and the only thing we can do is embrace the changes.” Mrs Fong joined the FNPF in 1996, holding various positions in the Fund’s Properties Division before moving on to becoming Manager Member Benefits. She is from Keteira in Moala, Lau.

Datta’s on Board
COURTS HomeCentres’ Managing Director James Datta has joined the Board of the Fiji National Provident Fund, effective 04 June. He was nominated by the Fiji Employer’s Federation and his appointment was announced by the interim Minister of Finance, Mr Mahendra Chaudhary. Fund Chairman Mr. Peceli Vocea has welcomed the appointment. “Mr. Datta has extensive knowledge as an employer and his commercial experience will contribute immensely to the Board’s overall objectives which includes amongst other things ensuring that members’ savings are secure,” Mr Vocea said. Mr. Datta is also a Board member of the Fiji Employers’ Federation. He is the Founder and National Chairman of Crime Stoppers Board of Fiji and an Advisory Board Member for Monash Mt Eliza Business School. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (since 1985), an Advanced Member of Retail Traders Association of New South Wales (Australia) and a Registered Training Instructor for the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji.

FNPF Annual Report Wins SPSe Competition
THE FNPF Annual Report 2006 won first prize in the 2007 South Pacific Stock Exchange Annual Report Competition under the Statutory Authorities, Government Bodies & Unlisted Trusts category. The award is the first for FNPF. It shared first place in this category with the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The Competition is the only way in which annual reports of enterprises in Fiji are evaluated outside the audit process. Commencing in 1981, the competition has encouraged greater disclosure of financial information, public awareness of an enterprise and its achievements and contributions towards the economy and the welfare of the Nation, amongst other advantages. The FNPF Annual Report 2006 is available for viewing on www.fnpf. com.fj.

Have any complaints?
IN its endeavour to improve its services and products to its valued members, a Complaints section was established within the Fiji National Provident Fund in September 2005. It is tasked with interactively dealing with all types of members’ complaints and queries. Members are urged to make use of this advocate service for general queries and concerns; to lodge complaints or compliments; and even make suggestions on ways the Fund can improve its services and products. In addition, the Fund acknowledges and is grateful to members for communicating their complaints to the section. Members can be assured that all queries, concerns and complaints are highly valued and appreciated. To utilise this service, members should call 3238 410 or 3238 202, or e-mail TrevorL@fnpf.com.fj . Members can also visit the Fund’s E-Lobby kiosk to lodge their complaints via their Account log in or see any of our Customer Service Officers.

Bank account details
THE FNPF has requested all members who have not previously withdrawn their money under a nominated bank account, to submit a bank statement for verification purposes. Acting CEO Mr Aisake Taito says this is necessary to counter processing delays and eliminate payment errors. “Some members give us wrong account numbers and thus, we post their monies into the wrong accounts,” he says. “What this means is that the bank will have to re-send this money to us; we will then need to verify the member’s account number before this money is finally sent to the member’s account again. “This process delays payments of funds and this usually frustrates members,” he says. “To avoid this, we are asking members to submit a copy of their bank statement; this will allow us to verify their account numbers and therefore, will enable us to deposit their funds into their accounts.” For further clarifications, members are requested to contact Arti Nand on 3307 811.

FNPF pays out $128.94m

WHaT you NEED To kNoW
RETIREMENT
Qualifying conditions: Attain age of 55years and over How to apply: Complete an application form 9A Documents required: Birth certificate required (only if the member is not 55years according to FNPF records) Method of payment: • Life pension • Joint pension • Part lump sum/part life • Part lump sum/part joint • Part lump sum/life/joint • FULL lump sum Processing time: 2 working days (should the member opt for a pension option apart from lump sum, then processing time may take longer) Maximum withdrawal amount: Full Withdrawal

THE Fiji National Provident Fund Board has paid out $128.94 million in interest to its members. FNPF Chairman, Mr Peceli Vocea, (pictured, above) says this represented a 6.3 per cent interest to be credited to members’ accounts on 30 June 2007. “We are overwhelmed with this declared interest rate and believe that it is a generous return to members’ funds considering the current state of the economy,” Mr Vocea says. “The Fund has undergone major policy and leadership

changes in the last six months and this positive return to members shows a continued level of commitment from the Fund’s Board, Management and staff.” The Board also approved an increase in the Special Death Benefit (SDB) from $7000 to $8000 with a corresponding increase in premiums from $25 to $30, effective from 01 July 2007. Mr Vocea assured members that the Board is committed to growing members’ savings and ensuring that it is protected for their security on retirement.

FNPF goes to Showcase

Peter Ryland, extreme left, looks on as FNPF team assists members

SAVAIRA Vakarau, of the University of the South Pacific’s Catering Division, thanked her lucky stars when she met up with officers of the FNPF at the recent showcase at the Vodafone arena. This is because several days before the showcase, Mrs Vakarua lost her wallet in a taxi on her way to work.

The wallet contained all her important cards, including her Fiji National Provident Fund card, which she often used for identity purposes at the USP Main Gate and at banks and other institutions where a proper ID was needed. Apart from giving valuable advice and general updates on her FNPF account, officers manning

the Fund’s booth issued her with a new card for $3. This was part of a number of services FNPF offered for members at Fiji Showcase 2007. The Fund’s team leader at the event, Peter Ryland, says members preferred quick service received at the FNPF Booth compared to turning up at the FNPF’s Customer Service counters at headquarters. Ryland adds that during the week-long event they served over 3500 members. Other services provided at the booth included renewal of membership cards, members’ nominations were also updated, records changed and signatures, names and other important details changed. Withdrawal forms were also issued to members who wanted to apply for assistance and officers also received applications and general employee/employer queries. There was also follow up on the Suspense Account and the Voluntary Member Scheme.

Finance Minister pays us a visit
INTERIM Minister for Finance, National Planning and Sugar Industry, Mr Mahendra Chaudhary recently visited the FNPF. During his visit Mr Chaudhary was updated on all operational matters regarding the Fund by the Board and management staff. FNPF Chairman Mr Peceli Vocea states the Board was honoured to host Mr Chaudhary as it was an opportune time for the Fund to address pertinent issues regarding the Fund. “The visit gave us the chance to briefly update Mr. Chaudhary on all matters regarding the Fund especially in relation to our investment portfolios”, says Mr Vocea. He further states that: “Mr Chaudhary’s presence was also beneficial to the Board members and management team as there were some topical issues discussed.”

Saving for the little things in life
SIXTY-year-old Domeniko Baikau of Daku, Tailevu, spent a long time planning his retirement in early 2000. “Many older folks have been kicked out of their own homes because children could no longer afford to look after them,” he says. “That’s what I thought about when I contemplated my options to save my money.” “These are the little things in life we Fijians forget when we are working. There is simply not enough money around to look after our needs when we grow old and that’s why we have to plan our future.” This is a principal reason why the former Casual Labourer with Golden Manufacturing Co Ltd and Pacific Forum Line decided to invest his money with the FNPF Pension Scheme. He retired in 2002 and opted for a half-pension; half lump sum; which he used to build his family a house at Wailekutu, just outside Suva. His older children are working and happily married and he wants his youngest son to achieve his dream of being a lawyer. “I have my wife and five children, five grandchildren and three in-laws, who have benefited well from those decisions to invest my money in the FNPF Pension Scheme and I wish to see my youngest become a lawyer,” he said. He was approached by St Vincent de Paul Society in 2003 to become a Caregiver at Father Law Home in Wailekutu and it meant another source of income for him. He gets about $185 a month from his FNPF Pension Scheme investment and part of the money has been invested in a dairy canteen at home, where he sells “the little things families need every now and again – salt, to fill ourselves up with – it’s a major problem among the Fijian people.” “I ask that we save our money because we really need to think about who will look after us when we grow old,” he added. “Not a lot of our children will do that! Domeniko reveals that the Father Law Home has seen an increase in the number of Fijians among its patients and this was one basis of his appreciation that he made the decision to invest his money in the FNPF Pension Scheme. “There used to be a large number of Indian and Chinese population at Father Law Home but now, there are a lot of old Fijian folks and I thank God every day that I joined the FNPF Pension Scheme because I am looking after my welfare and that of my family.” Atelaite McGoon, FNPF Pension Centre’s team leader said the Pension Scheme has made a lot of people happy with their lives. “I am proud to say that the Scheme was set up by FNPF to do just what people like Domeniko want out of this life,” she said. “I personally pay tribute to this Scheme, not only as an Officer serving Domeniko and others but also because there have been proposals in the design of the whole concept to cater for the Fijian people.” “I am proud to state that this Scheme has been designed in such a way that it caters for the general Fijian need, like taking a bit of your savings for a funeral, for unemployment, for a special need as and when FNPF deems it necessary,” Mrs McGoon adds. “It’s a model that’s going to help people like Domeniko make some critical decisions about their lives.”

Making the right decision is crucial, says Domeniko Baikau

matches, noodles, tinned stuff, grog and cigarettes.” “It’s all about saving money, that is the most important thing,” he says. “The FNPF Pension Scheme is, I think, one of the best things that have happened to us

Fijians.” “We (Fijians) have little time to think ahead, we are so preoccupied with life now and what is here today,” he says. “I ask that we save our money, we spend so much on what to eat, what to drink, what