By Robert Tapfumaneyi
NATIONAL Social Security Authority (NSSA) has increased the minimum monthly retirement pension by 65 per cent across the board.
The increase is with immediate effect.
In a statement Tuesday, the authority also said that Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS) has been increased by 200% across the board.
NSSA board chairperson, Cuthbert Chidoori said the move was inspired by a mid-term actuarial evaluation that was necessitated by the need to review NSSA benefits in response to prevailing economic fundamentals.
“The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has, with effect from 1 October 2019, reviewed benefits payable under the Authority’s two schemes,” Chidoori said.
“Earlier, in July 2019, the Ministry, in consultation with the NSSA Board, awarded NSSA pensioners a once-off discretionary bonus equivalent to a month’s pension to cushion them from the general increase in the cost of living.
“The decision was taken as a stop-gap measure while waiting for the conclusion of the mid-term actuarial review.
“The reviewed pensions, which were done in consultation with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, are now as follows; pension and Other Benefits Scheme (POBS), minimum monthly retirement pension increased to ZWL$200 from ZWL$80. In addition, all pensions have been increased by 65% across the board.
“Accident Prevention & Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS), minimum monthly worker’s pension increased to ZWL$240 from ZWL$80.”
Chidoori added, “All monthly pensions for APWCS have been increased by 200% across the board.
“The NSSA funeral grant for both schemes has been reviewed from ZWL$300 to ZWL$2,000.”
Arrears for October will be paid together with monthly payouts that are due on 13 November 2019.
NSSA said beneficiaries’ payments would be done via the usual channels, such as banks and mobile money platforms.
“Going forward,” said the NSSA boss, “NSSA, in consultation with all its key stakeholders and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, will continue to monitor economic developments and the general cost of living to assess the level of social impact to pensioners and align the level of benefits reviews, taking into account the long term sustainability of the schemes.”