Fiji’s social pension: increased benefits and coverage

A total of 15,707 senior citizens around the country are benefiting from the Government’s Social Pension Scheme.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar, says such programs have been initiated by the government recognizing the contributions of senior citizens.

This year the Government has reformed the Social Pension Scheme to reduce the age of eligibility from 70 years to 68 years and to increase the monthly allowance from $30 [US$14] to $50 [US$23].

The funding for this program has been increased from [FJ]$3 million to [FJ]$8 million in order to carry out this reform.

2324 senior citizens are new beneficiaries who were approved through the new age eligibility that came into effect in July this year.

Shreeti Prasad, “15,707 senior citizens benefiting from Social Pension Scheme“, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation News, 12 October 2015.

The Social Pension Scheme is means-tested assistance that targets older persons with no other source of income.

The FJ$50 monthly benefit is tiny, even by Fijian standards, so insufficient to lift recipients out of poverty. It is far less than the minimum wage of FJ$90 a week, and even further below Fiji’s national poverty line.

See this earlier TdJ on Fiji’s social pension.

Tags:

2 Responses to “Fiji’s social pension: increased benefits and coverage”

  1. Charles Knox-Vydmanov says:

    This is interesting and a bit confusing! This article from earlier this year said coverage would increase to 33,000 http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=294676

    So what happened to the other 16,000?

  2. Good question, Charles. The 33,000 number is very large, so must refer to beneficiaries of all ages (not just older persons). But this is not clear and, I agree, very confusing.