June 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Established by the late Mr A D Patel to provide a secure future for the workers of Fiji, the FNPF belongs to the 350,000 plus workers who’ve contributed their lifesavings to its care.
We all have a right to know how safe those savings are. FNPF funds belong to the people, not the government.
At the end of the 2009 financial year the net assets of the FNPF stood at $3.36 billion, roughly the same as they were three years earlier, in June 2006, but having substantially less buying power because of the huge increases in the prices of basics in Fiji after the 2009 devaluation.
Even though the FNPF’s assets didn’t increase over the three years from 2006 to 2009, the FNPF took in $832.5 million in new contributions. So where has it all gone?
Funds to pay members have shrunk because the investment income earned is consistently less than benefits paid. In 2008 the FNPF’s investment income was more than a $100 million less than benefits paid to members. In 2009 this gap blew out to $125 million.
In the last year of the Qarase government, 2006, the FNPF earned $240 million in investment income while benefit payments to members totalled $250.62 million, a gap of only $10 million. This was not good enough, but it’s dwarfed by the gaps in 2008-2009.
The new board appointed by the Interim Government made many decisions that we still know little about. Investments they made in movies have been written off in the 2008 and 2009 Annual Reports. These total $9.4 million and, unlike the investments in property, which might pick up value at some time in the future, this looks like nearly $10 million that’s gone for ever.
The miserable performance of our economy is partly to blame for the poor results achieved by the FNPF in the past two years but the are many questions to ask and this site is dedicated to asking them.