Ipec eyes NSSA, medical aid societies under its wings


Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) commissioner Tendai Karonga says discussions are now underway in Cabinet to have the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and medical aid societies fall under its purview.

Speaking to NewsDay after the first edition of the 2018 Insurance Journalists Mentorship Programme on Friday, Karonga said considering NSSA and medical aid societies involved some level of insurance, there was no reason why it could not be regulated.

“NSSA, medical aid societies and other insurance matters can be regulated once the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) and Cabinet approve. They are considering it now. NSSA is a pension fund and medical aid is simply medical insurance, so it should be regulated by the insurance regulator and that is the basic argument,” he said.

“There are other issues that get raised by people and mostly these are complaints against medical aid societies or NSSA, but the basic issue is that it (NSSA) is a pension fund and pension funds are regulated by Ipec.”

Karonga said he could not give the timeframe when NSSA and medical aid societies would be under Ipec’s purview.

“ . . . they (the Cabinet) will determine the urgency of the matter and I can’t. All I can tell you is that these are matters that they are considering,” he said.

Karonga said a report by the commission of inquiry on the losses incurred when the economy migrated to the multicurrency regime in 2009 was before Mnangagwa.

The report looked into complaints made by those that were insured pre-dollarisation, who claim not to have received the true value of their claims before hyperinflation and movement to a dollarised market.

At the inception of dollarisation, those who were insured reported that many of the insurance, pension fund and medical aid society firms had inaccurately downgraded the value of their claims.

Ipec pensions manager Nhau Chivingira said failure to compensate policyholders was one of the reasons the public had lost faith in insurance.

He said low confidence, mainly owing to hyperinflationary legacy issues, fragmented regulations, poor corporate governance and foreign currency shortages, were among the chief challenges experienced in the industry.

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