Saturday 20 August 2022


Pension payouts will be reviewed by up to 50 percent this month and be progressively adjusted in subsequent months subject to “affordability and sustainability” to cushion pensioners from price increases.

However, the loss of value of the Zimbabwe dollar and rising inflation have since been contained by recent Government interventions.

The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) told The Sunday it had reviewed payouts of its two schemes — the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme (POBS) and the Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS) — with effect from August 1, 2022.

A supplementary payroll for August is being processed to cover the difference of payments made earlier.

NSSA board chairperson Dr Percy Toriro said the authority would now conduct monthly assessments of its benefits.

“Following an actuarial review of our two schemes, we obtained requisite approvals to increase benefits under POBS by 50 percent, which translates to a minimum retiree pension of $24 000, from $16 000.

“Those under APWCS will enjoy a 39 percent increase, which puts their minimum pension at $30 000, up from $21 600,” he said.

The authority is in the process of switching to a self-adjusting mechanism that will protect pensioners’ savings from value erosion.

Pension contributions are currently split between employee and employer at 4,5 percent each, which gives an effective rate of 9 percent.

Other pension funds in the region have an effective rate of 20 percent.

Since last year, NSSA has been periodically reviewing benefits and other non-monetary benefits.

Clinics that will offer pensioners free primary healthcare are presently being established.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima opened the first clinic in Harare on Wednesday.

“All NSSA pensioners will benefit from free consultations, free medication, especially for chronic conditions which affect most pensioners, as well as free education, which is equally critical,” he said.

Government, he added, recognises that as people grow older, they become more susceptible to chronic diseases and other illnesses, which means they will spend more of their income on medical expenses.

Similar clinics will be established in Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru within the next few months.

Mr Brian Sirewu, a pensioner, applauded Government’s commitment to improve medical services for pensioners.

“I would want to thank Government for these efforts to help us medically; this initiative will go a long way. We have been finding it hard to meet our medical bills due to our low incomes, but with this noble idea, we really appreciate it,” he said.

Other non-monetary benefits offered to NSSA beneficiaries include discounts of between 5 percent and 10 percent on groceries at selected retail outlets.

Beneficiaries can also access a revolving facility for income-generating projects through various banks.

The loans, which are payable over 18 months, attract a concessionary interest rate of 10 percent per annum.

Pensioners who bank with National Building Society (NBS) and People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) also benefit from zero transaction charges on withdrawals.  Sunday Mail


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