Zambia News

CSAWUZ Calls For A Two-Tier Pension For Public Workers

The Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) has appealed to government to introduce a two-tier system of pension for civil servants.

CSAWUZ General Secretary Makai Makai says the suggested tier-system for civil servants will be a win-win scenario for all parties, government and civil servants. Mr Makai said although public service workers are employees of one government under the same conditions of service, it’s unfortunate that they are treated differently on matters of pension administration.

Currently civil servants are mandated to contribute their pensions to either National Pensions Authority (NAPSA ) or Public Service Pension Fund (PSFP) which have separate laid down benefits for its members.

Speaking during a presser at the Union’s Secretariate in Lusaka , the CSAWUZ General Secretary said this scenario has become a cause of concern by his union for a long time now.

“The challenge that we have observed is that these two categories of employees is that they work for the same government, getting the same salaries and enjoying the same conditions of service. Unfortunately, at retirement they are treated differently and according to our analysis we have observed and realised that those contributing to PSPF are treated far much better than those contributing to NAPSA because the two schemes are different,” he said.

He added that his Executive is aware that employees on PSPF also contribute to NAPSA upon retirement take home with a meaningful retirement package but for civil servants contributing under NAPSA, they just get an income replacement ratio of about 40 percent.

He explained that for an individual under NAPSA, they can only get a lump sum if they have served less than 15 years and reach retirement, then they can be given a one-off lump sum.

“We want to call upon government to either give public service workers an opportunity to choose where to belong to so that they are able to determine their lives in retirement.

” Secondly, is to either create another pension scheme specifically for civil servants, so that civil servants also contribute to two pension schemes, so that as they retire, they get something from NAPSA and also something from the other scheme,” added Mr Makai.

He appealed to government to come up with a second-tier pension system for civil servants so as to avoid destitution during retirement.

“We have seen it with grant aided institutions and a good example is NAPSA itself, they contribute to NAPSA, but they are also on another scheme, ZESCO contributes to NAPSA, but they have another pensions scheme, why should it be like that with civil servants?” he wondered.

In retirement, people are old, and their vulnerability increases thereby requiring enough funds and when this is done it will help government reduce on the budgetary allocations to towards the social Cash transfer.
He said there is a lot of positivity in the decisions government is making and expect that they will take this plea from the civil servants. In the Eighth National Development Plan, there is a proposal of coming up with a second-tier pension scheme for public workers. How I wish it could be done as early as yesterday,” he added.

Source: Lusakatimes

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Lake Tanganyika

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