NSSA pension benefits to go up in August

National Social Security Authority (NSSA) minimum pensions go up from August 1, following government’s gazetting of increases in pension contribution rates from June 1 and its raising of the maximum insurable earnings from $200 to $700.

Talking Social Security with NSSA

The minimum retirement pension goes up in August from $40 to $60, with the minimum survivor’s pensions and invalidity pensions going up from $20 to $30.

However, those who will gain most from the changes in contribution rates and the maximum insurable earnings limit are those retiring after the changes come into effect who are earning considerably more than $200, say between $350 and $700 and have been contributing to the scheme for most of their working lives or since the scheme’s inception in 1994.

Those retiring at present earning more than $200 who are eligible for a retirement pension have their pension calculated using their insurable earnings of $200 per month.

With the raising of the maximum insurable earnings to $700, those earning up to $700 will be paying contributions based on their actual basic earnings.

When they retire, their pension will be calculated using their new insurable earnings.

Those earning above $700 will have their pension calculated on the basis of the new maximum insurable earnings limit of $700.

A person retiring with insurable earnings of $700 who has contributed to the pension scheme for 18½ years will receive a pension of more than $172 a month.
Previously the same person would have received a pension of just over $49, because the insurable earnings would have only been $200.

Insurable earnings are the earnings on which a person’s pension fund contributions are based.

A higher insurable earnings ceiling means, therefore, higher contributions for those earning more than $200 per month.

There is also an increase in the contribution rate as from June by half-a-percent for both the employee and employer, each of which will from June be required to pay 3,5% of insurable earnings.

This means the combined employee and employer contribution is from June seven percent of the employee’s basic wage up to a maximum earnings level of $700 per month.

At present the combined contribution is 6%.

The maximum monthly employee’s contribution, which is paid by those earning $700 or more, is $24,50.

The employer pays the same amount, making a combined maximum employee/employer contribution of $49 instead of the current maximum of $12 based on the current insurable earnings maximum of $200.

The increase for those who earn $200 or below is minimal.

For a person earning $150 the employee contribution goes up from $4,50 to $5,25.
The employer will also pay $5,25 instead of $4,50.

For someone earning $200, the contribution deducted from the employee’s wage goes up from June from six dollars to seven dollars.

Because of the present insurable earnings ceiling of $200, a person earning $500, for instance, currently pays the same contribution as a person earning $200, namely six dollars, which is only 1,2 % of $500.

Those earning $200 and below therefore at present pay a higher percentage of their basic earnings as their pension contribution than those earning more than $200 do.
However, as from June the new insurable earnings limit of $700 means that everyone earning up to $700 pays the same percentage of 3,5% of their basic earnings to the NSSA pension scheme.

The contribution is matched by the employer, who has to make the same contribution.
Those earning $300 will pay $10,50 per month, with their employer paying the same amount towards their pension.  Those earning $500 will pay $17,50.

The contribution for those earning $600 will be $21 from the employee and $21 from the employer.

Those earning $700 and any amount above $700 will pay $24,50.

Even those earning above $1 000 will still only pay $24,50.

However, because their insurable earnings are only $700, if they retire while their insurable earnings are still at that level, they will receive a pension based on $700.

The formula for calculating pensions is the number of contribution years multiplied by the individual’s insurable earnings at retirement multiplied by an accrual rate of 1,333% per year.

The longer the contribution period and the higher the insurable earnings at retirement, therefore, the better the pension.

The first contributions to the NSSA pension scheme were made in 1994.
The longest contribution period anyone could have, therefore, is 18 years and eight months.

To qualify for a retirement pension one must have reached retirement age and have contributed to the pension scheme for at least 120 months, which is 10 years.
Those who have contributed for a lesser period are eligible for a single retirement grant payment, provided they have contributed for at least 12 months.

The pension can be claimed on reaching age 60, provided one has retired, which means one should not still be employed.

At age 65 the pension can be paid even if the pensioner is still employed.
There is an early retirement age of 55 for those who, for at least seven of the previous 10 years, were employed in an arduous occupation such as farming, heavy truck driving and some mining, quarrying and forestry jobs.

Talking Social Security is published weekly by the National Social Security Authority as a public service. There is also a weekly radio programme, PaMhepo neNssa/Emoyeni le NSSA, discussing social security issues at 6.50 pm every Thursday on Radio Zimbabwe and every Friday on National FM.

There is another social security programme on Star FM on Wednesdays after 5.30 pm. Readers can e mail issues they would like dealt with in this column to mail@mhpr.co.zw or text them to 0772 307913. Those with individual queries should contact their local NSSA office or telephone NSSA on (04) 706517-8 or 706523 5.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw


  1. in plain language NSSA contributions have risen by 308,34%

  2. this project is pain for the Pioneers . $40 per month?????????

  3. medion kasvatutsashure


    1. its painful smbody 4rm Dande getting $40 travelling all the way to Mt drwn to collect that little and save fr the family whlst NSSA officials are driving best cars and offered loans for stands chokwadi pane vakanzi vararame can anyone help the limping.

  4. benon ngorima

    workers unions should help us in fighting against this increase. many people will pull out from private pension plans because most of us lowly paid workers can not afford to have 2 pension plans after this increase.

  5. What you are calling an invalid is an individual who was forced to retire due some health problem, accidents, some terminal illness etc etc. Its pathetic that this is an assured pensioner who gets $20.00 monthly pension. If God gives him a long life after the forced retirement, then this individual is destined to a life of perpetual suffering. I know some one in this situation. Was management staff. Got sick. Employment terminated on medical grounds. Sought medical help abroad. Yes, got superior medical attention and he is having to take some prescribed medicine for as long as he lives and it does not look that he is dying any time soon. Yet NSSA pays him $20.00 which will go upto thirty or forty dollars come August, 2013. In my opinion this person deserves a full pension otherwise this scheme is rubbish. Any other assurance would become fully payable under the circumstances. Comments from NSSA would be much appreciated

  6. So the likes of Tobaiwa Mudede are on pension and still at work (notably inefficient working). Zim has produced many graduates with energy and zeal who can take that post but “comradeship” is prefered more to quality and efficiency

  7. NSSA takes from the employee and invests the money. from that investment especially in fixed assets like buildings, it gets huge amounts of revenue. that revenue is the employee’s money invested yet it does not come back to benefit the employees….just look at the amounts being paid out to pensioners!!!! there is grand theft at NSSA and one wonders why noone cares to investigate this entity. the investment made on our money must come back to benefit us the employees not some executives up there……matinyanya

    1. Iam failing to buy stand to plan for young once, meaning to say what we are getting today is not enough for us, we want increment rather than deduction,we also want to sent our children to high schools during our working days but we failing. I think nssa must reduce our subscribes rather that topping up.Who can help us guys panyaya iyi,because we are not benefitting from this program. Please try something not this.

  8. @jtf be relevant. You are off topic. Government employees were not even on this scheme until recently if at all. The social security should be moulded in a way that must assist all pensioners in a substantial way. Retirees, surviving spouse and children, and or medically induced pensioners.

  9. The above scenario is a technicaly sound observation. NSSA should take time to respond. Invalids should be paid a full pension. You could impose a time excess, but to subject your pensioners to a paltry $20 or $30 per month,even after surviving a terminal illness to over retirement age is not only absurd,but extremely evil.

  10. Minimum retirement age need bt dealt with according to life expectency. How many can reach 55 years? Most pple struggle to reach 45 years of age. What wil happen to the desead’s contributions in case s/he dies before 55? NSSA reply us pse.

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