Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Minister of Information and Media applauds Zambians for queuing at NAPSA offices to access retirement benefits

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In a press statement released to the media, the Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Chushi Kasanda, MP, expressed the government’s delight at the overwhelming response of beneficiaries to the new National Pension Scheme Authority (Amendment) Act. The Minister stated, “The signing of the law paves the way for partial withdrawal, at 20 percent, of the retirement benefits by beneficiaries who made 60 months contributions to NAPSA or have attained the age of 45.”

The Minister also emphasized the significance of this new amendment for the people of Zambia. “This is the first time since independence that such a facility has been put in place to the happiness of the people of Zambia. We promised this and we have done it, and we are yet to do more for the people of Zambia.”

The queues seen at NAPSA offices across the country attest to the relief felt by many Zambians who can now access part of their retirement benefits before retiring. The Minister acknowledged this relief, stating, “The queues that have since been seen at NAPSA offices in some parts of the country, attest to the relief of Zambians that they can access part of their retirement benefits from NAPSA that they worked for long before they retire.”

The government has also urged NAPSA and other sectors, including workers unions, the media, and other stakeholders, to intensify publicity of this important social security facility to ensure that beneficiaries countrywide are aware and can access their entitlements. According to the Minister, “Government wishes to emphasize the criteria for accessing the partial retirement benefits from NAPSA, as follows…Government reaffirms its resolve to fulfilling its commitments to uplifting the lives of the people of Zambia.”

However, The Copperbelt Trade and Development Forum (CTDF) has expressed concerns about the NAPSA Amendment Act of 2023, stating that it contradicts or abrogates the basic principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Social Security Minimum Standards Convention No. 102. According to CTDF Executive Director Vincent Lengwe, the Act is not the best policy direction because it takes away the future of vulnerable workers.

Lengwe emphasized that social security safety nets such as NAPSA were intended to mitigate socio-economic destitution, such as involuntary unemployment or old age. He stressed that these programs must not be misconstrued as anti-dot or temporal painkillers against the high cost of living or poverty. Lengwe also pointed out that currently, the unemployment rate in Zambia is still at alarming levels with a national poverty incident rate of over 60% coupled with a high cost of living.

The CTDF Executive Director further noted that the partial payments will not only subject beneficiaries to future destitution but also compromise the government’s ability to sustain the fund. He added that NAPSA or any other national social security scheme should not be used as a political instrument to curb the high cost of living, as it is not only unsustainable but also a departure from the objectives of managing pension funds.

Lengwe advised the government to focus on reducing the cost of living, ensuring decent wages, and eliminating casualization or labor outsourcing, as the best roadmap to eliminate poverty vulnerability among the working class. He also noted that the perception of incapacitating NAPSA from investing on behalf of its members and taking this responsibility to individual members will have devastating future impact on the vulnerable employees together with their families.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I think the Minister should have cautioned the people about the partial withdraw of their money and it’s result if they misuse the money. Getting the money is the simplest thing but utilising it to the fullest is another thing. Let her ministry start teaching the people how to spend money wisely instead of commending them for lining up at NAPSA offices. Give people ideas of how the little money they will get will uplift there lives.

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    • UPND is so desperate for Sontapo they even clap hands for someone who wants to commit suicide. Where on earth do you applaud people queing up for their money? The other day they were patting themselves for employing more civil servants not realising they are increasing expenses but not the GDP.

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    • Ba Kasanda has bypassed ubukashana. She doesn’t take care of herself. Awe sister nasheniko good milile and take walks out of your official vehicle to stay healthy.

  2. Very dull indeed. It’s their money. It’s up to the individual to decide. In fact those who have decided not to collect these monies are far sighted in that they are looking at the future. Most of the young people are collecting the money with no plans other than to buy goodies.
    All in all there’s no need for Smokey to applaud them for queuing for their money.

  3. Instead of planning for future they will drink and play with that money. Irresponsible government. Hh has his pensions intact

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  4. We gave you more money in your pockets but upnd is making you withdraw your own future pension savings haha

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  5. This woman is a dullard indeed is the sight of queuing by retirees something to cheer about…would you be proud seeing your mother in a line in this day and age of online payments. I have said it many times that this girl is not fit for that office…she is no Dora who was a media professional

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  6. People are queuing not because they would want to. Times are hard and people especially teachers are up to their necks in debt from loans. In normal situations only a handful would turn up.

  7. This woman only knows how to dress up…why HH continues to keep her in that influencial position doing absolutely nothing is beyond me. Its like using a midfielder as your goalkeeper in football.

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  8. But Tarino you really hate this woman. All these posts about her sure? Did she refuse your advances?

    • So that’s the only thing that comes to your simple mind when a man criticises an incompetent empty suit who happens to be a woman? Do you not know that you are paying her and not HH?

  9. I thought Smart Zambia was supposed to stop physical contact between corrupt civil servants and the general public? This should have been done over the internet or by post. Making citizens queue all day for their money is nothing to be proud of.

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