Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NAPSA pays out K13 Million in ZNPF benefits

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The National Pension Scheme Authority – NAPSA has paid over 13.5 million Kwacha in claims to 346 Zambia National Provident Fund -ZNPF- members.

NASPA Director General Muyangwa Muyangwa mentioned that over 7-million Kwacha has been paid to 144 ZNFP members who are below 50-years.

Mr Muyangwa said that the Authority has so far logged 1,631 claims from ZNPF members after President Hakainde Hichilema assented to the NAPSA Bill number 21 of 2022 that allows all members that contributed to the NPF to access their benefits even before reaching the age of 50 years, this follows the reduction of the age requirement from 50 to 36 years

Speaking during a press briefing on the progress of ZNPF payouts, Mr Muyangwa expressed delight that the process was going on without major hitches and assured members that everyone would be paid.

“We would like to give you an update on how we have fared in the first one week of the implementation of the new law as of yesterday 14th December 2022. So far, we have received a total of 1,631 claims, of which 1228 are for members below 50 years. A total of K13,598,937 has been paid out as ZNPF benefits, of which K7,107,937 is to members below the age of 50 years. We are targeting to pay out about 150,000 ZNPF members an estimated total amount of K5.4 billion by the end of this project,” Mr Muyangwa disclosed

The Director General also reiterated that the Authority has ramped up sensitization of the public on the new law so that more people can get the message and come forward and claim.

At the same event, the first member aged below 50 years to be paid their ZNPF benefits Mr Ndele Chipo Zyamwaika Mudenda commended the government for the initiative as it brought much needed financial relief.

“Allowing members access to their ZNPF benefits is a welcome initiative that will allow us members to make investments for our future. The process itself is also quite seamless. I made my claim and received my benefits all within 3 days. I therefore encourage those that contributed to the ZNPF to make their claims and access their benefits,” Mr. Ndele said

On the 6th of December 2022, President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema assented to the NPS (Amendment) Bill 21 of 2022 which provided for the reduction in the age required to claim ZNPF benefits from 50 years to 36 years old.

After President Hichilema assented the NPS (Amendment) Bill 21 of 2022, there was public speculation especially on various social media platforms where individuals questioned as to whether the assented Bill partained to NAPSA retirees or the Zambia National Provident Fund -ZNPF- members. It is from this public speculation that the Minister of Labour and Social Security Brenda Tambatamba clarified that the assented National Pensions Scheme Amendment Bill No. 21 of 2022 by President Hakainde Hichilema on early access to benefits only applies to the members of the defunct Zambia National Provident Fund – ZNPF.

The Minister disclosed in a statement that the amendment allows ZNPF members to claim for age benefits by now, instead of waiting for the eligibility age of 50 years, as this amendment was done because the ZNPF assets have since been depleted resulting in payments of benefits made from the National Pensions Scheme Fund, adding that the amendment will allow for an early pay-off all defunct ZNPF members and closure of their accounts.

“One of the objectives of the assented Bill is to amend the National Pensions Scheme Act to provide for an option to claim for age benefits by a member under the pensionable age under the existing fund of the Zambia National Provident Fund,” she said

Ms Tambatamba explained that the Amendment Bill to do with early access of pension contributions for members of the National Pensions Scheme Authority – NAPSA is still being developed and will be introduced in Parliament once the drafting process has been finalised.

“Beyond the defunct Zambia National Provident Fund – ZNPF early access, Cabinet recently approved in principle, the proposal to amend the National Pension Scheme Act No. 40 of 1996 to allow for partial withdrawal of pension contributions for members under the National Pension Scheme Authority,” Ms Tambatamba mentioned NAPSA pays out K13 Million in ZNPF benefits

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