BY NUNURAI JENA
About 50 000 pensioners have not received their pension payouts with unclaimed pension funds now amounting to more than ZWL$27 million, the industry regulator has said.
Speaking during a meeting with funds trustees in Chinhoyi yesterday, Insurance and Pension Commission (Ipec) spokesperson, Lloyd Gumbo, said the regulator was worried about the substantial amount that is lying idle while the owners are probably wallowing in abject poverty.
“The commission is concerned with the number of pensioners who do not know that they have money in pension funds, while they are probably suffering,” he said.
Gumbo appealed to all those who contributed pensions in their lifetime to approach pension funds or their former employers.
He said the money will remain with the pension fund for five years and then transferred to the Guadian Fund where it will be kept for 30 years.
Speaking at the same meeting, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ health and welfare officer, Nathan Banda, said it was alarming that such a number of pensioners and amount of money remains unclaimed while most pensioners led poor lives.
“In most cases we find out that workers who were contributing all their lives being told that they were not contributing due to poor records keeping and another problem is of employers not forwarding contributions to pension funds,” Banda said.
During the meeting, some workers raised concern over the monthly payouts pensioners were getting considering that their contributions were in United States dollars, but payouts were being made in Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollars.
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Mine Workers Union representative, Prince Mpala, who attended the same meeting, said inflation had rendered the pensioners’ benefits.
“Our concern is that pensioners who contributed in US$ are now getting their dues in RTGS$ without being rated…there is need to craft policies that protect pensioners in such situations,” Mpala said.