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Parliament demands NSSA reforms

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A PARLIAMENTARY portfolio committee has accused the State-owned National Social Security Authority (NSSA) for misdirecting monthly pension contributions amid plans to immediately review the law governing the authority.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Planning chairperson David Chapfika this week said the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare should immediately review the Social Security Act.

This comes amid outcry that NSSA has failed to cushion pensioners from the harsh economic environment despite having investments on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and property market.

“The committee is deeply concerned by the very slow progress regarding the review of the National Social Security Act at a time NSSA continues to receive and misdirect monthly contributions from the workers.

“It is our considered view that NSSA investments should be broad-based and should benefit the shareholders who are in effect the workers that make monthly contributions,” Chapfika said.

Last year, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries queried the decision by the State-owned compulsory pension scheme authority to invest $30 million in Capital Bank at a time business require fresh capital.

Capital Bank, formerly an investment bank, has since been downgraded to a micro-bank.

NSSA general manager James Matiza last year told NewsDay that the company invested in Capital Bank as it was the only way that it could tap into First Mutual Holdings (FMH), which is a stock exchange-listed company performing well in the insurance sector.

Matiza said shares for FMH could not be easily found on the market.

NSSA subsidiaries include FMH, in which it has a 51% stake, while the company has an 86% stake in Capital Bank.

The authority has interests in several firms listed on the ZSE.

NSSA also administers the pension and other benefits scheme and the accident prevention and the workers’ compensation schemes.

Matiza said the pension fund pays $60 per month as a minimum to its pensioners while the maximum is $1 447, although in between, some people get $200, $600 and others $700 depending on one’s contributions.

NSSA’s balance sheet as at 2012 had grown to $706 million from $592 million in 2011.

Before that, the authority’s assets stood at $456 million in 2010.

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