Unhappy with NSSA, pensioners form own association

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ZIMBABWE’s pensioners, unhappy with the way they are being treated by government, have joined hands and formed a trust that will look into their welfare and engage the National Social Security Association (NSSA).
The Association of National Social Security Retirees Trust (ANSSRT) is the brain child of retired Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Deputy Secretary General and MDC-T Senator designate for Bulawayo, Gideon Shoko, Aaron Tadu and six other pensioners.
“The idea came about after the realization that pensioners are getting a raw deal from NSSA which is giving them poor pay outs and depriving them of vital information. We are looking at helping pensioners on issues that affect their welfare, such as their benefits and also burial,” Shoko said.
The trust was registered with the Registrar of Deeds in Harare with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and has an eight member board.
Shoko said all NSSA pensioners were eligible to join the Trust, which currently has plus or minus 2000 members and a potential membership of 77 000.
“We were yet to go all out on a membership recruiting drive because we were not registered. However, now that we have been registered, we are now distributing membership forms and our potential membership is 77 000 as at 2014 figures,” he said.
Most pensioners in Zimbabwe were living in poverty, with the minimum NSSA pay out for retirees pegged at a measly $30 for those who retired on medical grounds while those pensioned at the mandatory age of 60 years were getting $60.
The majority had their pension scheme contributions eroded as a result of the hyperinflation that affected the country in the 2008 era forcing the country to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar.
Those lucky enough to be getting the meager pensions now have to spend hours on end at banks while others have to endure the vagaries of the weather as they spend nights on bank fronts in order to access their cash.