BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
ZIMBABWE’s pensions and insurance organisations are owed over $3,38 billion in contributions deducted from employee salaries by companies.
Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) commissioner-general Grace Muradzikwa raised concern over companies deducting pension contributions from employees, but not remitting the funds.
Muradzikwa made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by director (pensions) Cuthbert Munjoma during a handover ceremony of the solar-powered borehole and groceries to Chengetai Old People’s Home in Chinhoyi on Wednesday.
“As a commission, we are sensitive to the plight of the most underprivileged, particularly, the aged, which is why after learning of your situation, we decided to intervene without hesitation,” Muradzikwa said.
“The other area of concern is that of companies deducting pension contributions from employees but not remitting to the pension funds. As a result, some of the members then retire into poverty because sometimes there would be no benefits at the pension fund as they would not have received the contributions. For instance, as at September 30, 2021, contribution arrears accounted for about $3,38 billion.”
Muradzikwa said the Pension and Provident Funds Bill, which is before Parliament, will see key decision-makers like chief executive officers and finance directors being liable in their personal capacities for deducting but not remitting workers’ contributions.
“There are pension scheme members who worked hard and contributed towards their retirement savings but they have not claimed their pension benefits,” she added.
“As at September 30, 2021, there were over 160 000 members who had not claimed their pension benefits to the tune of about $2,55 billion. These members or their beneficiaries could be living in old peoples’ homes such as this one or wallowing in abject poverty, yet their pension benefits are lying idle at the pension funds.”