Government says the National Pension Amendment Bill of 2022 is important because once it is passed by Parliament it will give citizens an option of partial withdrawal of funds to invest in various businesses.
Mpika District Commissioner David Siame says after retirement, employees face various challenges in meeting basic needs such that it becomes difficult to invest in income generating activities hence the partial payment will help sustain their lives.
Mr. Siame disclosed this to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in an interview in Mpika today.
He added that once the National Pension Scheme Amendment Bill of 2022 is amended people will have money to help them invest in different businesses and in turn create employment.
“The Amendment Bill is important because once it is passed by Parliament it will give people an option of partial withdrawal for specific purposes including investment in business, this will also help them venture in income generating activities thereby reducing poverty,” said Mr Siame.
And National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) Head of Corporate Affairs Cephas Sinyangwe says the Bill to reform NAPSA has been tabled before parliament and the company awaits its outcome.
Mr Sinyangwe said that the National Pension Scheme Amendment Bill will allow NAPSA to grant waivers of penalties on delayed NAPSA contributions and it will also allow an option to claim for “age benefits” by a member of the fund.
“The Amendment Bill will allow NAPSA to grant waivers of penalties on delayed remittance of contributions and members will also be able to get a partial payment or withdrawal of funds without having to wait until they reach retirement age,” said Mr Sinyangwe.
He has also appealed to employers to be remitting workers’ contributions to NAPSA adding that members should also ensure that their contributions are remitted by their employers.
“Remittance of NAPSA returns is law, and failure to comply is tantamount to committing an offence which is punishable by law,” said Mr Sinyangwe.
Mr Sinyangwe added that in the event that the employer does not remit the contributions to NAPSA, the employees will be deprived of their pension benefits.
Meanwhile, The Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) Workers Union president, Bedwin Malowa says the move by government to allow for a partial withdrawal from NAPSA is welcome as it will allow for workers to get their money before retirement.
“Some workers die before they get their benefits, hence if one is able to get their benefits before retirement it will help them have access to that money,” said Mr Malowa.
Mr. Malowa has also expressed concern over the non-remittance of contributions to NAPSA by the employers at TAZARA and has appealed to the employers to ensure that contributions are remitted for the benefit of the workers.