PUBLIC Service minister Paul Mavima yesterday said government was looking at enhancing pensioners’ welfare through regular review of pension payouts in line with the movements on the exchange rate to preserve value.
Mavima said this while handing over performance contracts to heads of three parastatals, namely National Social Security Authority (NSSA), the National Building Society (NBS) and the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (Zipam).
The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading between $1 800 and $2 000 against the United States dollar on the parallel market rate.
It is, however, trading at about $1 000 on the official market.
“The NSSA scheme, which is a social protection programme, has evolved to become the pension of choice. This is why this year, more effort will be put into enhancing pensioner welfare to contribute towards poverty alleviation,” Mavima said.
“This will be done through regular review of pension levels in line with the movements on the exchange rate to preserve value.”
Pensioners are currently earning as little as US$60 every month.
“In addition, NSSA will improve the welfare of beneficiaries through valued-added packages (non-monetary benefits) towards resilience building and poverty eradication by 2030.
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“In order to do this, the authority will increase funding for non-monetary benefits, increase the number of non-monetary benefits initiatives, increase partnerships with third parties e.g, discount facilities with more retailers, increase the number of banks administering the discounts and enhance monitoring and evaluation of the impact of non-monetary benefits,” he said.
Mavima said NBS is set to grow and contribute meaningfully to earnings generated towards the upkeep of pensioners, through its relationship with NSSA.
“In line with NDS 1 [National Development Strategy 1], the society is focusing on delivering a minimum of 150 housing units and 150 serviced stands while offering mortgage financing and working with partners through PPPs [public–private partnership] to achieve and exceed expectations,” he said.
Mavima also indicated that Zipam would constantly scan the environment for best practices that can be adopted for enhancing public service delivery capacity.
Zipam is the premier public administration and management institute that seeks to enhance managerial capacitation and development, as well as administration and good governance.
“There is need for Zipam to push for the use of technology in the civil service including through designing appropriate frameworks for deploying technology and building capacity and motivation for effective utilisation of technology,” he added.