Reprieve for pensioners. . . NSSA strikes deal with local banks to scrap transaction charges


THE National Social Security Authority has reached an agreement with at least 12 banks, which will see pensioners aged above 60 years being exempted from paying transaction charges.

NSSA has previously been criticised for turning pensioners into paupers through its meagre payouts while at the same time losing millions in pensioners’ funds through shady deals.

However, the agreement with banks is one way that the compulsory pension fund is trying to improve the welfare of pensioners after it increased the minimum monthly pension payout from $60 to $80 starting this month.

NSSA said banks including Barclays, Central African Building Society, CBZ, FBC, MBCA, Metbank and the National Building Society had agreed to waiver charges on transactions made by pensioners above 60.

Other banks also party to the agreement include NMB, Stanbic, Standard Chartered, Steward and ZB.

“If you are over 60 years old, you are now exempt from transaction charges at selected banks, this is our way of thanking you for your years of dedicated service to this country,” the authority said.

NSSA has said it will further increase pension payouts after it completes cleaning up its payroll through a biometric registration programme, which ended last month and is aimed at weeding out ghost pensioners.

The Government has directed the authority, whose monthly pension payroll is over $8 million, to ensure that it hikes the minimum pension to $150 per month by year end.

NSSA is also working on introducing pension cover for people working in the informal sector as the fund  at the moment only covers those formally employed.

The authority recorded a jump of more than 200 percent in net profit to $116.8 million for the year ended December 2016 compared to the previous year.

It also recorded an increase in income to $485.4 million in 2016 from $445. 6 million the previous year. —  New Ziana

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