NAPSA needs new reforms to be put in place-Sean Tembo


Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) President Sean Tembo says the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) needs new reforms to be put in place in order for the institution to operate effectively for it has been operating like a Nigerian Pyramid Scheme for the past 20 years, which is quick to collect contributions but reluctant to pay benefits when due.

Mr Tembo mentioned if the New Dawn Administration is serious about making NAPSA better, there is plenty that needs to be reformed, allowing NAPSA to operate independently from Government interference, including the interference of the President himself and in order to achieve this, the corporate governance principles of NAPSA should be strengthened by ensuring that the majority of the Board Members are representatives of trade unions.

“You must remember that NAPSA manages contributions of workers, therefore anyone who is not representing the interests of workers has no business sitting on the NAPSA Board,” he mentioned

He noted that NAPSA Management should be appointed by the Board and not by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, because by allowing the Government to appoint NAPSA Management, the institution becomes inherently susceptible to manipulation and abuse, remember that the Government is an employer and cannot therefore be trusted with managing the funds of its employees, the best people who can genuinely protect and enhance the funds of the employees are the employees’ representatives who are the trade unions as an independent NAPSA Board will ensure that the Management is held to task for their performance.

Mr Tembo said that NAPSA is too big to be efficiently managed in this regard, the Government should consider splitting NAPSA into three separate pension schemes being for the civil servants, for parastatal bodies and government agencies and for the private sector, that is the best practice when it comes to pension management across the world.

He disclosed that NAPSA should start paying a lumpsum of at least 50 percent upon someone’s retirement, with the balance payable in monthly or quarterly installments. Additionally, NAPSA should establish customer service standards for payment of benefits which should not take more than 5 working days to come out when one retires or dies.

“Any delay in processing of benefits should result in a penalty charged to specific NAPSA employees involved which should be deducted from their salaries, in the same way that employers are charged penalties for late submission of employee contributions, that should be sufficient motivation to make them do their job properly,” he disclosed

Mr Tembo explained that it should be made a criminal offense for NAPSA Management to use workers contributions to fund charity and CSR projects, because it makes no sense for NAPSA to be pumping millions of Kwachas of worker’s money into its football team, when the retired workers are destitute and waiting for years to get their benefits from NAPSA because PeP has always argued that public funds are not for charitable or CSR activities and if the Management and employees of NAPSA want to own a football club, let them make contributions from their payroll to fund such a football club.

“After making the above reforms, NAPSA should be able to operate properly and to the benefit of the workers who make the contributions, the proposal to allow workers to make a partial lumpsum withdrawal of their pension is largely motivated by the frustration by most workers due to the long delay in accessing their NAPSA benefits once they reach retirement age. And also, the failure by NAPSA to make a partial lumpsum payment. Therefore, if these issues are specifically addressed by the proposed wider NAPSA reforms above, the workers should be happy,” he said

Mr Tembo cited that the Government’s proposal to amend the NAPSA Act and allow for an early partial withdrawal of benefits is too narrow in scope and will not address the wider NAPSA problems outlined above. The argument that people need to access their money while they are still young and energetic is too simplistic because to start with, a pension is not an investment annuity and the idea behind a pension is to give you social protection.

“In other words, to prevent you from becoming a destitute when all your brilliant investment plans fail. We all have brilliant ideas of how we want to invest our money and become rich, but more often than not, those plans tend to fail. The idea behind a pension is that if we lose everything we have, we should at least be able to buy food and rent a one-roomed house for ourselves until we die,” Mr Tembo


  1. Sean would be an effective opposition leader if he consistently thought and suggested policy strategies such as this, and not make silly KUMWEZI and VASELINE comments. I am tempted to believe this is someone else’s thinking that has been attributed to Mr. Tembo. If this is really Mr. Tembo’s thinking, its a good start. Now you need be disciplined and continue making sane comments till election time. You may be rewarded.

    My bet is you will fall back on silly attention grabbing comments that inspire no one.

  2. The beating especially to the head has produced a sensible sean. I think if this guy gets more beatings, President HH will have real competition in 2026.

  3. He has for a change put up a very sound proposal in a very logical and respectable manner, if this guy was not vulgar and focused, he can make a very good leader. But who knows from this good, chizalubana again

  4. Honestly speaking, this is a brilliant suggestion by Mr. Tembo. This partial withdrawal should only apply to people who have either made contributions of minimum 120 months , then those that are nearing retirement as the best target group. Please remember that NAPSA is a pension scheme and not a savings scheme. I only hope that the UPND is not going to highly politicise this issue when they say it is part of the campaign promise by wanting to make the youth happy as the majority who voted for them. The youth will grow old and prepare for their old age by maintaining the objective of the scheme while, of course, making an amendment to the previous act.

    My take is 50% withdrawal for those nearing retirement, then a monthly pay. For those who have done 120 months but still far from…

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