1 Nov 2012

Fiji National Provident Fund award ironic says lawyer

6:33 pm on 1 November 2012

A lawyer for Fiji National Pension Fund holder David Burness says it is ironic and surprising the fund has received an international award.

The FNPF was among social security projects in 13 countries to receive an International Social Security Association certificate of merit at a ceremony in South Korea.

Shaista Shameem represented Mr Burness in a case against the FNPF last year alleging cuts to his pension amounted to an abuse of human rights.

The FNPF says the award is a vindication of its reform programme and but Ms Shameem says it is ironic as the FNPF has been uncaring about the impact of reforms on pensioners such as Mr Burness.

"The award according to the criteria is for a superannuation institution that has had reforms put in place for the betterment of society and in fact it's been the very opposite for the Fiji National Provident Fund pensioners. Their pensions have been slashed to a huge degree."

Shaista Shameem says the ISSA award is particularly ironic when the organisation is associated with the International Labour Organisation which seeks to protect human rights and when the Burness case is still before the courts.