HARARE – Pensioners will this month receive a cushioning allowance as inflationary pressures continue to impact negatively on the cost of living.
The allowance is a once-off payment equivalent to one’s monthly pension.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza confirmed the development yesterday, adding that a process to determine an effective solution to the issue is currently underway.
“The decision was taken as a stop-gap measure while waiting for the conclusion of a mid-term actuarial review that is being carried out as an urgent matter following significant progress made in the preparation of the Authority’s financial statements for the year ended 2018.
“The actuarial valuation will guide the Authority in determining the level of benefits reviews, taking into account the long term sustainability of the schemes,” said the Minister.
“Recent developments in the economy have negatively impacted on the pension increase that was under consideration, hence the decision to conduct another actuarial valuation.”
The move by Government to review the level of National Social Security Authority (NSSA) benefits will be welcomed by pensioners as the country’s inflation rose to 175 percent for the month of June, raising concerns of value erosion.
According to the latest Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStats) figures Zimbabwe’s annual inflation for June 2019 rose to 175,66 percent from 97,85 percent in May 2019.
“The year on year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of June 2019 as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 175,66 percent, while that of May 2019 rate was 97,85 percent,” said ZimStats.
It basically means that prices as measured by the all-items CPI increased by an average of 175,66 percent between June 2018 and June 2019.”
With regards to the current compensation framework for NSSA, pension pay-outs depend on contributions, but the majority are receiving pay-outs of between $80 and $200, although for the very few who retired on good salaries could be earning between $500 and $1 500.