THE minimum monthly retirement pension has been increased to ZWL$200 from ZWL$80 with effect October 1 in response to prevailing economic challenges, National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has said.
The increase remains a pittance in the face of rising inflation and a galloping cost of living that has left pensioners clutching at straws, observers said reacting to the increase.
Other benefits reviewed will see all pensions being increased by 65% across the board.
For Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS), the minimum monthly worker’s pension increased to ZWL$240 from ZWL$80.
“All monthly pensions for APWCS have been increased by 200% across the board,” NSSA board said in a statement.
The NSSA funeral grant for both schemes has been reviewed from ZWL$300 to ZWL$2,000.
“Following a mid-term actuarial evaluation that was necessitated by the need to review NSSA benefits in response to prevailing economic fundamentals, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has, with effect from 1 October 2019, reviewed benefits payable under the Authority’s two schemes,” NSSA board said in a statement.
“Earlier, in July 2019 the Ministry, in consultation with the NSSA Board, awarded NSSA pensioners a once off discretionary bonus equivalent to a month’s pension to cushion them from the general increase in the cost of living.”
NSSA said the stop-gap measure would be in effect while the waiting for the conclusion of the mid-term actuarial review.
“The reviewed pensions, which were done in consultation with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, are now as follows:
The state-owned pension scheme said in consultation with key stakeholders and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, it will continue to monitor economic developments and the general cost of living to assess the level of social impact to pensioners and align the level of benefits.