Friday, June 21, 2024

The Case of Pensioners and Retirees: Government Cleared 13,470 Cases Of Pensioners And Retirees Since 2014

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By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

Secretary to Treasury Felix Nkulukusa announced that the Treasury had released K837 million for social protection programmes of which K255 million will go to the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) to help clear cases of unpaid pensioners and K50million will go to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF).

The balance of K402 million will go to Social Cash Transfer Programme. There was jubilation on social media especially from supporters of the New Dawn Government, who said at last, the suffering of pensioners was being attended to and their money was being paid.

The previous government was cast as a callous and irresponsible government that failed to pay retirees and pensioners.

In fact, many people replayed the sad video of a distraught woman pensioner, crying at the Ministry of Justice, cursing the PF government and its leaders for failing to pay widows, and retirees, their money.

What Are The Facts?

The government through the Public Service Pensions Fund has consistently paid outstanding cases of retirees and pensioners and has, since 2011 dismantled the number from 22,000 cases of unpaid retirees to a mere 2,200.

Below are the releases of funding since 2014.

  1. In 2014, K723million was released to pay 2,353 cases.
  2. In 2015, K965 million was released to pay 2,424 cases.
  3. In 2016, K671million to 1,817 cases.
  4. In 2017, K1.1530 billion was released to pay 3,138 cases.
  5. In 2018, K644 million was released to pay 1,205 cases.
  6. In 2019, K162million was released to pay 315 cases.
  7. In 2020, K1,150 million (K1.5billion) was released to pay 2,218 cases.
  8. In 2021, K1.512 million (K1.5billion) was released

Funding for 2021 has been released as budgeted for where it was paid in tranches of K544million and K456million. The 2022 Budget has provided K2.1 billion which is expected to clear the 2,300 cases.

But Why Do We Hear That Pensioners Are Not Paid?

You and I have seen retirees and pensioners camped at the Vice President’s office, Ministry of Justice or near State House. These are retirees’ or pensioners’ cases that are protracted and are/were being handled by the courts of law through benefiaries’ lawyers.

Some of these matters are still locked in courts of law or Judgements were delivered but have not been honoured or where Judgements have been honoured, funds have not been paid to rightful owners or administrators of late beneficiaries estate.
Other cases involves pension funds that were previously dissolved or the case details are lost in the bureaucracy.

Let’s take the famous case of Hon. Nelly Mutti and her lawfirm, Lukona Chambers.
Ms Mutti represented the 3,523 retirees under the Voluntary Separation Association of Zambia (VSAZ) in a battle to claim the pensioners’ benefits.

After many years, she won the case on behalf of the retirees and Government started paying the pensioners’ through her law firm. The money was part of the Government release for 3,523 retirees that left their employment under the voluntary separation in late 1990s.

Her firm made deductions from the benefits of civil servants in three categories namely, 10 per cent legal fees, 10 per cent handling fees and 16 per cent VAT. This sparked protests from the retired civil servants and legal cases of theft, forgery and fraud charges by the State against her and the lawfirm.

On March 6, 2014 she was arrested and charged with 33 counts relating to theft and forgery in connection the payment of more than K35 million to former government employees. The DPP later discontinued the case and the retired civil servants were requested to pursue their claims as a Civil case in the High Court.

Conclusion

it is heart-warming that the previous government cleared over 22,000 cases since 2011 of retirees and pensioners including those dating back to the 90s and 2000s.
The cases I have been looking at are 13,470 under the Public Service Workers Pension Fund (PSPF) alone cleared since 2014. The duty of this government is to continue on this path so that we clear all outstanding cases of retirees and pensioners.

Further, reforms are needed to both the Insurance and Pension Sub-sector.
The abolition of a lump-some payment to retirees was imposed on workers without sufficient consultation. Similarly the case of retirement age that was raised to up-to 65 years is another matter of concern.

Many feel that the monthly payments made to pensioners are inadequate, do not take into account inflationary and cost-of-living factors and leave pensioners destitute. Lets debate the reforms we should take to ensure that both retirees and pensioners are not left desperate, destitute and do not end the rest of their lives in despair after making long-time contributions to pension funds.

19 COMMENTS

  1. This man has no shame at all as if wasn’t on civil service payroll for last 10 years…he is good at twisting facts to his liking and why he brings in the speaker is just really low and vindictive.

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  2. When I said this, I was insulted by f00lish upnd sick dogs like the one who has commented above. Thank you comrade mwamba for giving us data which is supported by evidence. The problem with upnd supporters is that they think only their leader is able to achieve anything. That is why their party has failed to challenge tribal hh at their non existent party conferences

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  3. Iwe ka mwamba , u ve been tapping since u were recalled attacking ministers & the president, but who among them has ever responded to u? Non! Have u asked yourself why? I will answer on their behalf: cos yo opinion doesn’t matter anymore. It matter when u were an ambassador but now – u are a nobody. So u can Yap yap, try to be clever as u please but believe u me, non of the ministers pays attention to u. Let alone the president or Vice. ?

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  4. Mwamba let’s hear from the pensioners themselves and not PF Carder like yourself. We really don’t care about PF facts you can share them with your PF team and keep praising yourselves leave the current government to govern. Nothing will change the Zambian minds. They decided on August 12th.

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  5. Some body must find this Mwamba something to do. This is the bored group of Sean, Sinkamba, Wynter who have been reduced to political commentators whilst claiming to lead political parties which in essence don’t exist. This is a group that don’t even have a section chairman any where in Zambia but seeking some relevance

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  6. Honorable. The time to trot out this data was at any time before the elections the video of the lamenting poor woman was played. I am not sure how the information helps you now. Like Bo Lubinda said, the PF government had grown big headed. A bit of time in the opposition may shrink your heads to the size required for compassion and honest service to Zambia.

  7. Spent force seeking relevance, reason why Sata fired such people and kept them at a distance. I am PF but it’s such chaps who messed up our parry

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  8. When they wanted to send him to far east as Ambassador, in his usual artificial complex the man claimed he needed to be near to help the party, so how did he help the party being near in Addis Ababa looking at the August 12 drubbing of the PF, PF open your eyes and rebrand, remove such people, you will not get value ,learn to learn

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  9. Attention seeker from MMD times.. Water always finds it’s level. These misplaced tuntrums must be ignored.

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  10. He has provided facts in some cases. It’s not only in Government that pensioners have suffered injustice. Those that are trying to be champions for pensioners today have issues with their companies. BP Zambia former employees is a case in point. It’s better to be truthful than to bend facts just to suit your political intentions

  11. @Ayatolla,
    I cannot agree more with you. I have two cousins who worked for BP. Their pension contributions to Saturnia of which Bally is a shareholder remain unpaid to this date. One of my cousins is on dialysis. The other one just lost a limb due to illness. Yet HH and his friends have to this day failed to pay them their pension contributions. It tells you how evil some of the people in politics today are. No wonder they have no time for the Day of Prayer and Reconciliation or the commemoration of the Christian Nation declaration.

  12. Mr Zulu with all due respect, stop acting like you leave for yourself!! You mean you can’t leave money for your children at all!! Revisit that statement sir it doesn’t sit well with your status in society. You need to know inheritance is GODLY given and more reason you need to believe in such!!!

  13. Why does he still call himself Ambassador, someone to tell me. Does it mean that if you ever serve as an Ambassador, then that Title should remain with you till you die or something??? Why does he still put Ambassador in front of his name(which is so much associated with the losing PF), he is an Ambassador where??? Someone to enlighten me. Or perhaps he is still day dreaming that he is an Ambassador, just like they still day dream in their camp (PF), that they will bounce back to power in 2026?????

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