Why were they sacked?

In June 2009, four members of the FNPF Board who had been appointed by the Interim Government in December 2006 were sacked without explanation.

Their appointment had been one of the first actions of the Interim regime post coup, but we’ve never been told why they were sacked.

FNPF members have a right to know why Mr Parmesh Chand, Mr Daniel Urai, Mr Felix Anthony, Mr Howard Politini and, Mr James Datta, who were given responsibility for managing our lifesavings by the Interim Government, were sacked on 23 June 2009.

Unless they’ve done something wrong, it doesn’t make sense to sack all of them at once. An efficient board needs continuity in membership. Sacking them indicates that they could no longer be trusted.

We know all is not well the FNPF, we can see that our savings are slipping away, but we do not know what role these men played in the problems of the FNPF.

Were they responsible for the Natadola losses? What else have they done? We demand answers.

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What are your pension plans?

The FNPF website has a handy calculator that allows you to work out how much you need to save in order to qualify for the pension you want to have when you retire.

For some time now the FNPF has been giving out hints that the formula for converting a lump sum to a pension is about to change.

The FNPF Board engaged an overseas expert to advise on whether the funds they can continue to use the same formula for calculating pensions.

The 2009 Annual Report reports that: `┬░The Fund engaged an overseas private actuary, Mercer, to conduct an actuary valuation for FNPF. This valuation form the basis for urgent pension reforms that could be implemented in years to come for the sustainability of the Fund in the long term. Mercer is expected to be engaged for the next three years.”

What the words “urgent pension reforms” mean is changing the formula for calculating pensions.

How do we know this? The 2009 Annual Report explains that “the valuation by Mercer showed an excess of assets over actuarial present value of accrued benefits of $168.76 million in 2009, as opposed to $464.47 million in 2008.” In other words the capacity of the asset base of of the FNPF to cover its future obligations has shrunk dramatically.

The ‘urgent pension reforms” are increasing the size of the lump sum you’ll need to accumulate to get the pension you’ve planned for. You now need $32,000 to get a sole pension of $400 a month. They could change the formula so that $32,000 will give you what you now get for a joint pension – ie currently $293.33.

And when they say “urgent” they mean they need to do it very soon. If they have another bad year for earnings and growth in the fund, they’ll run out of cash to meet the pay-outs they need to make.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.