BUSINESS WRITER 7 June 2017
HARARE – The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) is mulling a
pension cover scheme for domestic workers this year, an official with the
Nssa general manager Elizabeth Chitiga last week said the scheme, the
first such package targeted at this often exploited and neglected group of
workers, was aimed at improving the financial circumstances of domestic
workers, mostly women, who were previously excluded from joining statutory
“We are also working on a voluntary pension cover for the informal sector,
with specific emphasis on domestic workers.
“You will realise that there are people who have been long-serving in this
line of work but never reap anything from it when they come of age because
the facility is not available,” she said.
The package, a voluntary initiative for the informal sector, is
anticipated to receive a huge response from employers of domestic workers,
who previously could not access such services.
Joining other regional countries like South Africa and the United Kingdom,
Chitiga said Nssa was looking at rolling out the scheme’s pilot before
“We will have a pilot up and running by year end. Given the number in the
country’s informal sector, we expect the programme to be a success,” the
Nssa boss said.
The scheme will provide universal social security cover, with people who
are not formally employed making voluntary contributions to Nssa so as to
get benefits upon reaching the public sector retirement age of 60.
Official data indicates that about 94,5 percent of all Zimbabwean workers
are in the informal sector.
“Another option is also for employers to take out the scheme for their
employees, of course this entirely depends on the two parties involved,”
In the case of death, surviving spouses and close relatives could also
According to Nssa chairperson, Robin Vela, the scheme would be structured
on findings of a recent survey on priority social security needs of
“We will shortly be contracting our actuaries to model the scheme, which
will include benefits design. However, we envisage that it will include
retirement and survivor’s benefits.
“There will be inbuilt flexibility on contributions payment under the
informal sector scheme, depending on member’s circumstances. The scheme is
targeting all workers in the informal sector including domestic workers,”
he said recently.
After actuaries draw up a proposed model, Nssa will then consult the
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, and SMEs and Co-operatives
Development ministries, among other stakeholders.
While the informal sector is presently not covered by social security
schemes, social security is a human right under the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, Article 22, 1948.