NSSA rich while pensioners suffer – Chibebe

wellington_chibebe2HARARE The rightful owners of National Social Security Authority (NSSA) assets wallow in abject poverty while the organisations managers live a life of luxury, says the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). (Pictured: Wellington Chibebe)

NSSA has finally increased pensions for Zimbabweans after heated debate that they were now too low and could not cover escalating costs for citizens. The organisation had come under fire for alleged inefficiency and rampant corruption.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Services has now approved the increases, after consultations with the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Scheme and agreed to back-date them to January 1, 2011.

But ZCTU says the increases still fall far below the expectations of pensioners, given the fact that at least $500 is needed to cover the barest of necessities per month. The ZCTU had proposed that the pension payouts be increased to at least $100 taking into consideration the fact that most pensioners have no other source of income.

Pensioners are being paid a pittance by NSSA while the authority invests money in property development. Managers at NSSA drive top of the range vehicles while workers and pensioners, who are the owners of the money they are misusing, wallow in abject poverty, said the unions secretary general, Wellington Chibebe, in a statement.

The ZCTU demands that NSSA seriously rethinks the issue of pension payouts and work out how best workers and pensioners can also benefit from millions of dollars invested in property.

Under the National Pension Scheme (NPS) retirement pensions for those who retired during the worthless Zimbabwe dollar period would get US$40 monthly, up from the paltry US$25.

NSSA said survivors and invalidity pensions would now go up from US$10 to US$25 per month, while funeral grants remained at US$200 per member. All work injury pensions will be increased by 50 percent with effect from January 1, 2011.

The organisation said minimum work injury pensions would be increased from US$15 per month to US$30 per month, a 100 percent increase much to the delight of cash-strapped citizens. Minimum spouses pensions will also shoot up from US$10 per month to US$20 monthly.

Insurance premiums will be reduced by 20 percent across all industries.

“NSSA pensioners will receive pension payments at the new rates on the April, 2011 payroll including adjustments for the months of January, February, and March, 2011,” NSSA told pensioners in its statement.

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