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National Pension Fund – not yet!

Consultations with relevant stakeholders on the long overdue implementation of the National Pension Fund are ongoing, the Social Security Commission (SSC) said this week.
Rino Muranda the head of corporate communications at the SSC told the Economist this week that consultations on the implementation of a national pension fund, which has been on the cards since 1997, are still taking place. He, however said the SSC cannot be drawn into commenting further on the matter at the moment since a public announcement will be made once the consultations have been concluded and the way forward is determined.
Previously, the suspended CEO of the Social Security Commission Kenandei Tjivikua, who regarded the implementation of the national pension fund as one of his priorities when he was appointed in 2010, told The Economist that the commission was hopeful that a draft report detailing the findings of research carried out by consultants on the national pension fund will be presented to the Commission by September last year.
Tjivikua then said the stakeholders’ input will be incorporated in a final report which was expected to be forwarded to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare for consideration.The research team is said to have made some recommendations on various issues including changes to the Social Security Act, and on the economic implications of introducing a national pension fund.
While assuring the public that tremendous work has already been done in trying to implement the fund, Tjivikua said then: “This process [consultations] is very much time consuming, but necessary to ensure that proper groundwork is done before the actual implementation. It is the Commission’s resolve to ensure that proper due-diligence is done, even at the expense of some delays, to ensure that we implement a pension fund that is not only sustainable, but also affordable and attractive to our members.”
Section 34 of the Social Security Act No. 34 of 1994, makes provision for the establishment of a national pension fund. In its current format, the law allows members of the fund to receive benefits from the fund regardless of their membership to other pension funds, including the old age pension fund that is administered by the Ministry of Labour under the Social Welfare directorate.
The first attempt to come up with a national pension fund was made in 1997 then a second attempt was made in 2001 followed by the ‘Tripartite Task Force’ in 2004.

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