Government has said that the public pension schemes in the country need immediate reform. Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said that the schemes needed revision to meet the retirement needs of civil servants.
Dr. Msiska explained that the current pension scheme system is archaic and bankrupt and unable to meet the retirement needs of civil servants.
The Secretary to Cabinet said this when he launched the Zambian Chapter of the African Leadership Foundation at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka yesterday.
He explained that government was prompted to adjust the retirement age of civil servants from 55 to 65 years in order to secure the welfare of public service workers.
And speaking at the same function, International Development consultant Victor Koh urged Zambia to secure the future of the country by investing and developing in human resource to manage the country’s natural resources.
Dr Koh said Singapore had managed to move from a third world country to a first world status through leadership transformation that oversaw economic transformation and development
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda says the 65 years retirement age does not affect those that contribute to National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF).
Mr Shamenda said in an interview that the retirement age affects the members of the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) currently standing at 69,482 members as at August 2014.
“This implies that the increment in the retirement age only affects a small number of the formally employed population, which according to the labour force survey, is about 860,000 as of June 2012 and PSPF had about 55,000 pensioners and beneficiaries,” Mr Shamenda said.
Mr Shamenda said the 65 years retirement age should not cause anxiety in workers, adding that the retirement age in the southern region and beyond is 60.
“We adjusted the retirement age as a way of increasing people’s life span. Information has shown that most people that have retired at 55 have died earlier because of many factors,” Mr Shamenda said.
Commenting on concerns that keeping too many old people in public service will perpetuate unemployment among youths, Mr Shamenda said the best way is not to eliminate the older workers but to find ways of creating more employment.
“How many people are applying for contracts after retirement? A lot of them still want to do something and keep themselves active? The answer is not to kick out the old people, the answer is to create more employment opportunities,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said the essence of retirement is not for people to go in manual work or active employment after they retire, but to leisure around.
On November 21, 2014, acting President Guy Scott signed Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2014 which stipulates that the retirement age for public service workers is 65