The Fiji National Provident Fund will roll out its targeted
natural disaster withdrawal scheme this week for members whose homes were
damaged or destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Harold.

Teams will be deployed on 15th April to inspect and collect
applications from members living in areas that have been classified as worst
affected by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).

Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi said that it was
unfortunate that Fijians had to endure a natural disaster while the nation was
still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our teams have been mobilized and will be working closely
with the NDMO teams that will be conducting damage assessments in the areas
that have been identified.”

The outcome of the NDMO assessment will also include a
confirmed listing of households affected in the identified locations.

“We understand the urgency of
the situation because homes and personal properties have been destroyed. We
have activated a natural disaster withdrawal scheme for TC Harold, enabling
members living in the affected areas to apply for

$2,000 per household.”

“This is the initial relief that is being provided to these
members and if the damage is considerable, then they can also apply for the
normal housing withdrawal to repair or rebuild their homes.”

Members must liaise with their village headman or
turaga-ni-koro and advisory councilors as the Fund’s teams will base their
assessments on the recommendations of these officials.

Only members who have sufficient funds in their General
Accounts, will be eligible for this withdrawal.

Members in rural communities need to provide a valid photo
ID, their bank account details, in addition to the approval of the village
headman and advisory councilors. Those living in urban areas will need to
provide a utility bill as proof of residence, in addition to their ID and bank
account details.

In line with the current health restrictions and strict
advisories relating to COVID-19, FNPF inspectors will visit the affected areas
with the application forms. Eligible members will complete the forms and revert
to the Fund inspectors on-site.

“Members need to make informed decisions about their
retirement savings and ensure they only access their FNPF savings if they
really need to, said Mr. Koroi.

“Members must remember that any early withdrawal assistance
is a pre-retirement benefit. The Fund is a compulsory retirement savings scheme
and we will continue to ensure that we help our members save for a meaningful
retirement.”

The Fund’s schedule to visit
the areas affected by TC Harold, will be published in the newspapers, broadcast
on radio and also through the social media channels.

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