Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has addressed the issue of pension benefit payments to former employees who retired from the company. In a statement issued to the media by Shapi Shachinda General Manager Corporate Affairs, KCM explained that the KCM Pension Trust Scheme required miners to contribute to their pensions during their employment. After retiring, employees receive 50% of their benefits, while the remaining 50% was held by the Pension Scheme. Employees are required by law to purchase annuities to access the remaining 50%. Some former miners have purchased annuities and receive monthly pension payments, while others advocate for receiving the full remaining amount. However, the law mandates the purchase of annuities for monthly payouts. KCM clarified that neither the government nor KCM is withholding funds, and the purchase of annuities is necessary to comply with the law.
Below is the Full Press Statement
Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) seeks to clarify a longstanding matter regarding pension benefits payments to former employees of the Company who retired some years back.
Under the KCM Pension Trust Scheme, miners made contributions in line with the pension scheme rules and regulations, which comprised employee monthly deductions and a contribution of the employer, in this case Konkola Copper Mines.After retiring from the Company at retirement age, the former employees were paid 50 percent of their benefits while another 50 percent was held by the Pension Scheme in accordance with the Income Tax Act and the Pension Scheme Regulations. Employees are expected to buy annuities in order to continue accessing the remaining 50 percent.
Initially, several employees wanted to access their full benefits and engaged the government through the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA). The PIA, other key institutions and KCM
have made several explanations that the employees have to purchase annuities in order to access their 50 percent balances.Some of the former miners have purchased annuities and are currently on monthly pension payments, while others have not done so, and have continued to advocate for payments of full amounts of the remaining 50 percent. However, this is not possible because the legal
requirement is that the workers should buy annuities in order to be placed on monthly pension payouts.
Neither the government nor KCM is withholding funds for the retired ex-miners as the law is clear on the payment of their 50 percent balances. KCM would like to encourage the former
miners to make up their minds and purchase annuities in order to access their money in accordance with the law. KCM and the Pension Scheme do not discriminate in the management of the former miners’ pension benefits.
Issued by Shapi Shachinda
General Manager Corporate Affairs