Regional workshop aimed at improving pension systems opens today at GPH
Fiji is today hosting the first regional workshop on improving social protection roles of Pacific Pension Systems held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. The two-day workshop titled ‘Strengthening Pension Systems and Health Coverage in the Pacific’ will address additional challenges faced by public pension systems in the region. The Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, will deliver the keynote address to officially open the workshop. The Asian Development Bank, with the support from the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute in San Francisco, USA, and other development partners, intend to raise awareness on issues affecting the performance of Pacific retirement funds. This is with a view to strengthening the financial position of these funds so they can, in time, provide retirement incomes to contributors through their retirement. The Fiji National Provident Fund and the Asian Development Bank are jointly hosting the workshop as part of both institutions celebrating their respective 50th Anniversaries. This workshop presents FNPF the opportunity to engage stakeholders and Pacific partners.
This is to initiate discussions on how retirement funds could provide health insurance to its members and their dependents as an avenue to strengthen their social security role. The forum will bring together senior executives of retirement schemes as well as regulators to actively participate in discussions on key issues confronting the Pacific pensions community. It is with the hope this forum provides the impetus for on-going collaboration between Pacific regulators of pension funds.
The Fiji National Provident Fund Pension Scheme will be talked on and explained as a Pacific example during the workshop. This year, FNPF celebrates its Golden Anniversary after 50 years of operation as Fiji’s only superannuation fund. FNPF has been offering life pension since 1975 to retirees under incapacitation and oldage retirement as well as spousal nominees of members who die before an entitlement event. The journey undertaken to reform the initial unsustainable design of the Pension scheme leading up to the final strategies embarked on in the 2011-2012 reforms offers insights and lessons for other regional economies. In addition, the Fijian Government has
undertaken strategies to strengthen the coverage of social welfare assistance programmes in an effort to providing income security for the old-age and Fiji’s most vulnerable.
The Fiji National Provident Fund and the Asian Development Bank are jointly hosting the workshop