Guest Contributor | Feb 20, 2024 | 0
Amended fund rules open builders’ pension fund for higher contributions
Changes to the rules of the Namibian Building Workers Pension Fund that allow higher contributions from members and employers, have made the fund more attractive as a retirement vehicle for employees and professionals in the build environment.
The fund’s Principal Officer, Enwich Kazondu said “the recent amendment of Rule 4 (Contributions) of the Fund Rules which was approved by the Registrar of Pensions, is likely to have very positive implications. Previously, the monthly member contribution was restricted to 4% of his or her salary. This has now changed and the Rule Amendment allows for member monthly contributions that are higher than 4%. In addition, the Fund Rules were changed to ensure at minimum a match between the employer and member contributions.”
“With these changes that remove the restriction on the level of contribution, employers can improve their employee’s remuneration package by increasing the contribution to the employee’s pension fund. At the same time, one can anticipate that higher income earners and professionals in the construction sector, will consider the fund as an option for their retirement savings.”
“Now that the level of contributions to the fund are no longer capped, the scope has widened very much. We can now also attract the management of respective companies as well as the likes of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, or any employees in aligned industries”, he said.
On the short-term prospects for the industry, Kazondu said “We are indeed very excited about what the new year is likely to bring. There seem to be many projects in the pipeline that will impact the construction sector positively. Although, not all will materialise at once, at least the prospects of what lies ahead, creates optimism, which is always important from a macro-economic perspective.”
“There are constant announcements about investment in green hydrogen and [other] developments in the renewable energy sector. The opportunities are there and we are hopeful that Namibian businesses are preparing themselves to participate actively and that educational institutions ensure that Namibians have the required skills.”
“Aligned with these developments are a lot of infrastructure requirements, and hopefully they will commence soon. This can ensure a revival of employment in the construction sector.”
The construction sector in Namibia is the only sector where the registration of employees with a pension fund by the employer is mandatory, and where the employer is required to make a minimum contribution of 4% of the employees’ salary, to match what is contributed by the registered employee.
The fund currently has 2194 active (contributing) members. Its total assets exceed N$275,4 million.