NAPSA & PENSIONS SCHEME
By Joseph C
On NAPSA, currently they have 2 ways of paying retirees. This is through an act of Parliament (done by politicians) who themselves get lumpsums. Mid term gratuity k500,000 in 2 years 6 months and another k500,000 after 5 years. Total 1 million in 5 years.
One way is when someone retires say at 60 years and makes less than 180 monthly (15 years) contributions. These are given lump sum with interest. However, this is cosmetic. All being equal, we generally start working between the age of 25 to 30. With the current retirement age, one would only qualifies to meet this condition if he/she starts working after 45 years years. Technically the number of people who meet this criteria is negligible because 30 years to 60 years of working far surpasses the 15 years contributions as criteria for qualification under this category. In other words, this condition does not benefit anyone at all. Its a ‘blanket’ condition.
The other condition is that, anyone who reaches retirement age 60 or 65 years, is straight away put on payroll (without part or lumpsum payment) for the rest of life.Minimum monthly salary is k1800 and maximum k5000 depending on the contributions one could have made. I find this to be very unfair. I doubt anyone who at retirement was getting over k15,000 could be happy to start receiving that amount as salary.
This last condition is where the majority workers full under. As earlier alluded to, by the time people retire,they could have made over 360 monthly (30 years) contributions.
After making 360 contributions retirees do not get their earned savings to go and start a new life. I find this very unfair. The reason advanced for this by politicians is that retirees used to squander their pension and start suffering. But why punish everyone because of the few irresponsible ones?This is just a scapegoat by the majority parliamentarians who avoided paying people their money because it was going to wipe out the treasury. But God is great, the treasury has still been wiped through other expenditures.
At least if NAPSA could pay half of the contributions at retirement then put retirees on monthly salary til death. This can be understood.
This negligence by retirees could have been addressed and minimized by trainings which should have been conducted by employers tailored towards all those about to retire. Unlike coming up with a pension system which ‘punishes’ everyone.
NAPSA will sugar coat you that when you die, your next of kin takes up the salaries and children will be given education allowances. But truth is, children should be less than 16 years old and amount given is k500. Honestly which school currently charges k500 as school fees. Its mockery to me. And besides, ordinarily by the time someone retires, children are above 16 years old. They are at college or university. You can see the type of leaders we have.
I ask myself why all this has happed yet we have trade unions who should have engaged government and reach a win win agreement. Alas unions have decided to ignore this fact but they claim to represent workers’ interest. Better still unions should have gone on a countrywide sensitisation to educate members about the current pensions system to prepare employees minds. I have interacted with different friends from different organizations. Truth is that most of them are not aware. They think there is lumpsum payment.
Way back Pensions fund used to give out loans to members at low interest rates as a way to appreciate members’ contributions. This is no longer the case. The interest is as high as that of commercial banks. So what is the benefit of our pension system?
I have heard some politicians argue about upward revised retirement age. They say 55 years should be maintained so that room is created for young ones to be employed. Partly true but I feel emphasis should be on pensions permutations.
This problem was created by Parliament. It has to be corrected by Parliament.