Last updated: 24/4/2024

Basic Information

Country
Geographic area
Population group
Elderly persons

Programme Details

Programme objectives

To reduce the high poverty risks faced by older persons 

References
World Bank. 2015. Tonga: Making Social Protection More Responsive to Natural Disasters and Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. <http://socialprotection.org/sites/default/files/publications_files/World%20Bank_SP_DRM_CCA_Tonga%20Case%20Study.pdf>. Accessed 19 November 2018.
Start date
2012
References
World Bank. 2015. Tonga: Making Social Protection More Responsive to Natural Disasters and Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. <http://socialprotection.org/sites/default/files/publications_files/World%20Bank_SP_DRM_CCA_Tonga%20Case%20Study.pdf>. Accessed 19 November 2018.
Programme expenditure
(i) Around TOP 4,386,240 per year (2023) (ii) TOP 1,345,400 emergency top-up (March 2023)
References
(i) Government of Tonga (2023): Budget Statement for the year ended 30 June 2023. Available online at http://finance.gov.to/sites/default/files/2023-01/Budget%20Statement%202022%20-%202023.pdf. Accessed on 03/11/2023 (ii) Ministry of Finance (2023): Government of Tonga Budget Statement for the year ended 30 June 2024. Available online at http://www.finance.gov.to/sites/default/files/2023-07/Budget%20Statement%202023%20-%202024.pdf. Accessed on 03/11/2023

Targeting and eligiblity

Targeting methods
Categorical Targeting
Targeted areas
Nationwide
Target groups
Elderly
Eligibility criteria
Beneficiaries must be Tonga citizens residing permanently in Tonga, who are aged 70 years and above (the age threshold was lowered from 75 to 70 in 2014) [1]; they must also no longer be working or receiving pensions or any other form of welfare support
References
Personal communication.
Eligibility reassessment (if any)
The Retirement Fund follows up monthly to verify that the beneficiary’s situation remains the same. Eligibility can be affected if there are any changes
References
Personal communication.

Coverage and other information

Type of benefits
Cash
Amount of benefits
The monthly allowances for the elderly community have increased from TOP 70 per person to TOP 80 per person. Sometimes there is financial support for some months it increases from TOP 80 to TOP 100 per person however, most often they receive a TOP 80 monthly allowance
Payment/delivery frequency
Monthly
Benefit delivery mechanism
Cash collection from the National Retirement Fund once a month. Some beneficiaries also receive the benefits directly in their bank accounts
References
Personal communication.
Benefit recipients
Recipients themselves
Minimum and maximum duration of benefits (if any)
If an elderly person travels overseas, his/her benefit shall cease immediately until the person returns to Tonga. The caregiver/relative must inform the Fund immediately. If an elderly person passes away, his/her benefit payment shall cease immediately upon notification of death. Caregivers are required to inform the Fund promptly.
References
Personal communication.
Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and frequency
The National Retirement Benefits Funds conducts a follow up every month after the benefit is collected by beneficiaries. This is to verify any changes in the situation of the benefit recipient.
References
Personal communication.