The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has described the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) monthly pension payouts as a mockery of the sacrifices made by retired workers.
NSSA recently reviewed the Pension and other Benefits Scheme and the Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS) with effect from August 1, 2022.
The latest increase translates to a minimum retiree pension widely received by most pensioners of ZW$24 000 which is just equivalent to US$30 per month, with the APWCS receiving just ZW$30 000, which is an equivalent of US$37,50.
ZCTU national organizing secretary, Michael Kandukutu said NSSA should also be looking at such things as the Poverty Datum Line.
“Pensioners are also economic beings subject to the economic dynamics of the day. A pension is a deferred salary that the pensioner could have enjoyed in his working life. However, for the purpose of safeguarding life after work, the pensioner deferred that part of his or her salary, which was then invested on his or her behalf by NSSA. We, therefore, want to see the pensioner benefiting and enjoying their sweat,” he said.
He suggested that paying half of the PDL-linked salaries in United States dollars and the remainder in local currency would be a reasonable entry point for NSSA payouts.
But NSSA spokesperson, Tendai Mutseyekwa, maintained that the payouts are far much better when compared to other countries in the Southern Africa region.
“We have stated on numerous occasions that pension payouts can never be sufficient, whether in Zimbabwe or anywhere else in the world. Social Security pensions are meant to augment occupational pensions.
“NSSA payouts compare very favorably against regional equivalents, so the Authority is doing all it can. In addition to statutory benefits, NSSA pensioners also enjoy various non-monetary benefits to ease their plight,” he said.
He, however, said the authority will continuously push towards improving payouts, subject to affordability and sustainability of its schemes.