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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

K837 million Released for social protection programmes

Economy K837 million Released for social protection programmes

Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa has disclosed that treasury has released K837 million for social protection programmes, of which K255 million is targeted at pensioners under the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF), and K50 million for those under the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF).

Mr. Nkulukusa said the release of the funds for social protection programmes will ensure sustained and continued protection of the poor, the vulnerable, and pensioners.

In a statement from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Mr. Nkulukusa urged all implementing agencies of the released funds to ensure that effective payment systems are deployed to serve retirees.

“The Treasury has released K837 million for social protection programmes, of which K255 million is targeted at pensioners under the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF), and K50 million for those under the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF). Of the total released for social protection, K402 million is for the Social Cash Transfer Programme and K130 million for the Food Security Pack Programme,” he stated.

“The action has been done to ensure sustained and continued protection of the poor, the vulnerable, and pensioners. I take this opportunity to urge all implementing agencies of the released funds to ensure that effective payment systems are deployed so that we do not prolong the hardships experienced by our fellow citizens, especially retirees, the poor and the vulnerable,” Mr. Nkulukusa said.

Mr. Nkulukusa’s statement comes hours after President Hakainde Hichilema had revealed in a facebook post that the Government had started paying retirees.

“We have started paying off our retirees who spent many years waiting for their pension,” President Hichilema posted on his official facebook page.

“In our 2022 budget, we have allocated K2.1 billion to dismantle these outstanding arrears. Our preoccupation is not the 2026 election, but serving the people of Zambia,” he wrote.

According to the Ministry of Finance, in 2022, the Social Cash Transfer Programme will be scaled up by increasing the number of beneficiaries to over one million from the 880,539 as at end August 2021.

Next year, the transfer value per household will also be increased from K150 to K200 per month and from K300 to K400 per month for households with severely disabled members.

The statement added:”With regard to the Food Security Pack Programme, the number of beneficiaries will be increased to 290,000 households in 2022 from 263,700 as at end-August 2021. The Programme is targeted at the vulnerable but viable farmer households. Other social protection interventions that will be scaled up include the Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Programme, the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, and Child Welfare Programmes.”

“As at end September 2021, pension benefit arrears for retired public service workers stood at K1.2 billion. This has negatively impacted their livelihoods. To safeguard the livelihoods of retirees, in 2022, the Government will dismantle all outstanding pension arrears for public service workers and curtail the accumulation of arrears going forward.”

“To make the pension system financially sustainable and provide social security to retirees, Government will also review and amend relevant legislation including Public Service Pensions Act Cap 260 of the Laws of Zambia, Local Authorities Superannuation Fund Act Cap 284 of the Laws of Zambia and the Pension Scheme Regulation Act No. 27 of 2005. The new pension system will enable retirees to access accrued benefits before retirement,” the statement concluded.

6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s good that GRZ has began to address the issue of arrears to pension funds. Part of these funds are unremitted deductions from workers’ salaries and they run into billions of Kwacha. I’d have loved to see more funds released to that. There’s nothing to celebrate as many have died without getting their money. As for the food security pack, it has come a little late because beneficiaries usually receive that before the planting season. By the time it’s finally disbursed the rain season will be half way over. Can Bally learn to do things on time? When some things are done out of time they don’t achieve the intended go. A food security pack comprises fertilizer, and seed, how will it be utilized if it’s released outside the planting season? People will answer you through the ballot…

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  2. We thank the government for this move, retirees need to touch their money. We pray for a stable economy as we all play our part. It is critical that we all see our part in generating the national income through our taxes and other means. Together this country will be a better place to leave in, we only have one country, call Zambia.

  3. @Ayatollah,
    Just thank the new government for what they have done, you seem to be balancing on a scale, not knowing which side to lean to.
    “As for the food security pack, it has come a little late because beneficiaries usually receive that before the planting season.”
    PLease, note that this funding is coming from the new dawn approved budget for 2022, which was approved 2 weeks ago in Parley. There is no other time to have expected this funding than now.There was no money to be paid out before.
    The normal people know that, and they will correctly answer through the ballot, by voting for UPND. No place for PF Mune, if that is your hope!!

  4. @5 Kanene, educate yourself about budget operations. As late as last week some farmers that had supplied maize to FRA had not yet received their money. This has nothing to do with the 2022 budget. It’s ineptitude by the Bally administration at play.

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