The social security in Fiji is regulated by a law of 1966, which provides for a provident fund program.
The system covers employed workers aged 15 to 55, except members of equivalent private plans approved by the Fiji National Provident Fund Board. Voluntary coverage is available for self-employed persons, household workers, students and informal sector workers.
Funds are contributed by both the insured person and its employer in the following proportions: (i) Insured person: 8% of earnings; and (ii) Employer: 8% to 30% of payroll for employees up to age 65. In case of self-employed persons, a minimum annual contribution of of F$84 (approximately USD 45) is required, up to 30% of earnings. F$35 (approximately USD 20) is deducted annually from each eligible member’s provident fund account to finance the death benefit.
The funds are available at age 55 with at least 10 years of contribution. If leaving the country permanently, the funds are available at any age. A partial pension is available for persons aged 55 that have less than 10 years of covered employment.
The old-age benefit consist of either (i) a lump sum of total employee and employer contributions plus accumulated interest, or (ii) a monthly pension based on an annuity factor of 15% (for a single person) of employee and employer contributions (additional voluntary contributions are paid as a lump sum) plus accumulated interest. A couple may elect to receive a combined monthly pension of 66% of the pension for a single person plus accumulated interest for as long as either spouse lives.
The maximum annual total contributions used to calculate the pension are 16% of earnings. Additional contributions are used toward a lump-sum benefit.
For insured persons who opt for a monthly pension based on an annuity factor, the maximum annual employer and employee contributions used to calculate the pension are 16% of earnings (up to F$2,400 – approximately USD 1320) a year for the voluntarily insured or self-employed persons). Additional voluntary contributions are paid as a lump-sum benefit.
In case of partial pension, a percentage of the full pension is paid according to the number of years of covered employment below 10 years.
Workers who are members of the provident fund for at least 2 years and whose individual balance exceeds F$1,000 (approximately USD 550) can withdraw up to 66.7% of the balance above F$1,000 for housing costs. Workers can also make withdrawals up to 33% of the balance for education and medical care.
The Fiji National Provident Fund Board (http://www.fnpf.com.fj), appointed by the Minister of Finance, provides general supervision over the system and enforces the law.
Source: Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2010, available at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2010-2011/asia/index.html