PARLIAMENT yesterday heard that pension insurance firms were owed over $300 million in unremitted workers’ contributions by State enterprises and quasi-parastatals.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) director Manet Mpofu made the disclosure when she appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development to speak on regulation and monitoring of insurance and pension funds.
“It is serious when people retire and they do not get a thing because their contributions are only on paper, and the amount they contributed never got to the pension fund,” Mpofu said.
“The arrear contributions by parastatals to pension funds are huge and over $300 million. Employers are not remitting the money deducted from their employees,” she said.
Mpofu said there was need to set up independent boards of trustees to force parastatals to pay up as workers’ union leaders feared victimisation.
“We want ministries to deal with those parastatals and cede their idle assets to pension funds so that workers get their pensions.”
She said City of Harare also owed huge amounts to pension funds, adding the best way they could deal with this was to cede some of their land so that pension funds could recoup their money.
Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross (MDC-T) said many pensioners and insurance subscribers lost a lot of money to Old Mutual and the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
“We know NSSA subscriptions from workers and employees have been contributing $4,5 billion in the past 20 years, but the balance sheet only reflects $1,5 billion. Three-quarters of subscriptions of workers to NSSA have disappeared. Old Mutual is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, but people like me started subscription to Old Mutual contributing 20% of my salary yet today my pension is only $93 per month,” Cross said. Chimanimani West MP Munacho Mutezo (Zanu PF) said IPEC must also investigate issues where insurance and pension funds owned expensive buildings yet pensioners who contributed were not enjoying revenue generated from the buildings.