New Pensions Bill on the cards

Source: New Pensions Bill on the cards | The Herald May 16, 2019

New Pensions Bill on the cardsMr Gumbo

Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
Government will soon come up with a new Pensions Bill which will compel insurance companies and pensions funds to compensate pensioners whose pension contributions  have been eroded by inflation.

The new Bill will also hold managerial staff at companies accountable for non-remittance of their employees’ pension contributions.

This was said by Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) spokesperson Mr Lloyd Gumbo during an insurance and pensions workshop held in Kwekwe on Monday.

Mr Gumbo said most workers are usually left counting their losses due to inflation and other monetary policies hence the need to protect pensioners’ funds.

“As IPEC, we were tasked to spearhead the compensation programme together with the ministries of Finance and Social Welfare.

‘‘As a result, we have proposed the crafting of a legal framework to help us achieve our goal of ensuring that employees are compensated. It was discovered that what happened then was wrong, those who lost their pensions through dollarisation should be compensated,” he said.

“We have already met the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance so that they do not have to debate it in Parliament rather they fast-track the process in Parliament to avoid further delays in the matter,” said Mr Gumbo.

He said it was worrying that companies were not remitting pensions to the Pensions Commission putting workers at risk of not getting their pensions or insurance in case of emergencies.

“Companies owe the commission a total of $600 million with local authorities being the biggest culprits with a backlog of over $200 million in pension allowances owed to employees,” said Mr Gumbo.

IPEC is conducting a series of workshops around the country to educate pensioners on important information to do with pensions.

During the Kwekwe workshop, it also emerged that about 50 000 pensioners could be wallowing in poverty while their pensions amounting to $27 million remain unclaimed.

“Due to lack of adequate information, pension funds are lying idle uncollected while their beneficiaries could be wallowing in poverty. We are therefore going round the country educating pensioners on important aspects to do with pensions and insurance,” he  said.

The workshop was held in conjunction with the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) whose executive director, Mrs Rosemary Siyachitema, said they organised the workshop to ensure that pensioners got adequate information.