How COVID-19 impacted GIPF member education
By Amos Kambonde
GIPF Manager: Marketing Services.
Since March 2020, thousands of GIPF members around the country and the world were affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19. On an annual basis, GIPF implements a robust member education programme, which entails visiting employers and members around the country.
Amidst the challenges that came with the pandemic, it has given us many opportunities to refurbish our efforts and look for new ways on how to implement our activities. It is also important to note that the Fund has been able to process members claims with minimum disruption.
Apart from the face-to-face engagements, the Fund introduced digital platforms to engage the vast number of members. Now GIPF communicates to members via online platforms, such as the website, broadcast media, and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.
Members have been and are still strongly encouraged to make use of our digital platforms as well as the member portal to access GIPF services. This in turn minimises traffic to GIPF offices nationwide and subsequently reduces the risk of them getting COVID-19.
In efforts to engage our members, GIPF plans to start the year with an extensive investment campaign that will be on television, in print media and all the Fund’s social media platforms. The campaign seeks to showcase the value creation that the Fund has made to the socio-economic of Namibia. In addition to this campaign, the Fund has decided to increase the annual member education radio campaign to a bi-annual campaign.
The campaigns will focus on disseminating information on the Fund’s benefits and is aired on radio in different vernaculars, to reach more members. The radio programme will further educate members on Pension Fund related matters.
As a pension fund, stakeholder relationships and engagement remain critical to the Fund’s growth. It further empowers members with appropriate information, which enlightens them on their benefits and the rules of the Fund.
It is our duty to make sure that our members and the general public are informed and well educated about our roles and responsibilities as a Fund, therefore, we are encouraging employers as well as members to invite us to visit their workplaces in smaller groups or on digital platforms for information sessions. We are aware of the risk involved, hence the regulations as set by government will be adhered to.
The impact of COVID-19 will still be felt in 2021, we urge our members to continue to use our social media platforms and website for interactive sessions. Alternatively, members are encouraged to call any of our regional offices countrywide for further assistance.