THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has expressed reservations over plans by government to place the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) under the regulation of the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC).
In an August 15 2014 letter addressed to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said contributory social security schemes administered by NSSA were labour-based and should, therefore, fall under the Labour ministry and not Treasury.
“It would be disastrous to have NSSA under the regulation of IPEC as this would be against international practice, where such schemes are not put under the Finance ministry,” Moyo said.
“It is our prayer to have the move reconsidered and NSSA left to manage its own schemes together with social partners and the Ministry of Finance coming in accordance with the prescribed relevant sections of the NSSA Act as alluded to earlier on.”
He said the move was likely to see IPEC charging administrative fees, thus reducing what the pensioners were currently getting.
Moyo said the perceived lack of accountability and transparency would be dealt with by the actuarial valuations for both long and short term benefits which were done after three years and one year respectively and the publication of audited financial reports.
He said the proposals to amend the NSSA Act Chapter 17:04 should be referred to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum for further debate by the social partners, adding that workers and employers, through their participation as board members, would ensure accountability and transparency through their active monitoring of such public schemes.
“We all know that NSSA is of a tripartite nature, it is therefore managed through a board with equal representation of government, employers and employees. Placing NSSA under the control of IPEC may result in a number of challenges that would cost the contributors their hard earned money,” Moyo said.
Chinamasa early this month disclosed that the government was proposing a raft of amendments to the country’s insurance and pension legislation, which will see the IPEC regulating NSSA.
“We have also looked at the relationship between IPEC and NSSA and consultation that whatever aspects we are raising about regulation of NSSA should first be referred to a tripartite forum of workers, government and employers,” Chinamasa was quoted as saying early this month after an IPEC Consultative Forum in Harare.