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NSSA targets US$60 equivalent monthly pension payouts

by Staff reporter
14 Apr 2021 at 06:25hrs | Views
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says it expects the minimum pension to be equivalent to US$60 by the end of the year payable at the interbank rate.

The pensions authority, which recently announced a raft of measures to complement monthly pay-outs to its beneficiaries, has dispatched its state-of-the-art mobile clinic to the southern region to provide selected medical services to its pensioners.

NSSA general manager, Mr Arthur Manase, said the medical surveillance clinic will be in the region for the next 44 days.

"During our meeting with pensioner representatives that was held in Harare on March 24, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima, informed the meeting that NSSA would be utilising its mobile clinic and medical officers to serve our pensioners.

"We are doing this as part of measures to augment the monetary benefits, which we increased by 100 percent in April, with further increases expected in July and October. By year end we expect the minimum pension to be equivalent to US$60 payable at the interbank rate," said Mr Manase.

"The mobile clinic will be in the southern region starting with Zvishavane, then Gwanda and finally Bulawayo. It will carry out diagnostic medical surveillance in various mines and other industries in that region.

"It will also conduct an ad-hoc mobile clinic and assess medical needs of our pensioners using the same outing. This assessment will focus on eye problems associated with old age as well as other chronic conditions."

The NSSA general manager said the state pension fund was determined to address the perennial problem of poor benefits and had declared 2021 as the year to fulfil the needs of pensioners.

Working towards this goal, NSSA is pushing for the ratification of the automatic adjustment mechanism framework, which determines the maximum level of contribution from employers and employees. Currently the contribution rate is capped at $5 000, with employers and employees contributing 9 percent split equally.

This means the maximum monthly contribution to NSSA stands at a miserly $450, against expectations of pay-outs equivalent to at least the monthly poverty datum line.

"We are also looking at additional benefits such as funding for income generating projects, goat farming out-grower schemes, discounted groceries, Covid-19 vaccines, among others. Reality informs us that no matter how much we pay our pensioners, the amount can never be sufficient, so we need to come up with innovative ways of augmenting their pay-outs," said Mr Manase.

Source - chronicle

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