Unions applaud HH over new Napsa Law

eacher Unions in Muchinga Province have commended President Hakainde Hichilema for assenting to the National Pension Bill which provides for some pensioners to claim part of their pension

Secondary School Teachers Union of Zambia (SESTUZ) Muchinga Provincial Chairperson, Davies Kaluba, told ZANIS in a telephone interview that assenting to the NAPSA bill reflects government commitment to fulfilling 2021 election campaign promises. 

Mr Kaluba said partial funds that can be claimed from one’s pension can help grow the economy and address the plight of pensioners and improve their welfare.

He said the move will help most teachers who are highly indebted use the money to pay off loans they owe leading institutions.

“Others will definitely use the money to invest and start some businesses as a way to help their families,” He added.

Mr Kaluba further appealed to the government to extend the initiative to other teachers who are under Public Service Pension Funds so that they too can access their pension contribution and benefit from it before they reach their retirement age.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) Muchinga Province Regional Coordinator Nondo Kasanda said his union is happy that the NAPSA bill has become law that will see most civil servants aged 36 and above benefit from it.

Mr Kasanda noted that the move will help fight poverty among families and communities and improve the economy through boosting economic activities.

Mr Kasanda said President Hichilema’s assent to the NAPSA bill demonstrates that he has a heart for the people of Zambia.

“The President has done his part and now it remains with civil servants to ensure that when they are given the partial withdrawal from NAPSA, it’s important for them to be prudent with how they use the money,” He said.

Mr Kasanda called on teachers and all civil servants contributing to NAPSA to ensure that they venture into agriculture so that they can contribute positively to the agriculture sector and the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, Chinsali District Education Board Secretary Pardon Tesho has appealed to teachers in the district who qualify to get the partial withdrawal to plan adequately for the monies as it will help them in many ways.

Mr Tesho said it will be sad to see a teacher still struggling with loans from lending institutions even after getting a partial withdrawal from NAPSA.

“Teachers are known to be the most affected with loans, I am appealing to those who qualify for this partial NAPSA withdrawal to plan very well for their families,” said Mr Tesho. 

“The President is passionate about our future, now it is up to us to use this money wisely especially that the government is fighting for us to get more money to enable us to invest,” added Mr Tesho.

President Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday assented to the National Pension Bill which provides for an option to claim for one off age benefits by a member under the prescribed minimum pensionable age of 36 under the existing fund.

President Hichilema ‘s assenting to the National Pension Scheme Bill is a fulfilment of the United Party for National Development (UPND) 2021 elections campaign commitment to undertake crosscutting NAPSA reforms to enhance value for money for contributors under the existing fund.