THE National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) has so far paid out K7.7 billion to 332, 493 citizens that have so far claimed the 20 per cent partial contribution.
Labour and Social Security Minister Brenda Tambatamba said this was as of June 30, this year.
Delivering a ministerial statement to Parliament in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Tambatamba said of the amount, more than K777 million had been paid to 60, 240 youths aged between 20 and 34 years who had claimed their partial withdrawal.
She said the age group between 35-49 years old, 53, 861 in number received K5.3 billion, while those above 50, received K1.6 billion in the period under review.
The minister also cited several testimonies from some beneficiaries among them a Kalulushi woman who had managed to complete a house, a Ndola male who used the money on university tuition fees for his daughter and investment in a good business, a Lusaka man in Government bonds and another in land and Southern Province resident who had bought 18 cattle.
In responding to follow-up questions on the matter, Ms Tambatamba informed the House that the authority did not suffer any data loss when its system was recently hacked.
“Madam Speaker, all the data is intact and so are all the resources,” she said after Chinsali Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament (MP) Kalalwe Mukosa raised the concern. Ms Tambatamba also clarified that the Government would consider extending the programme to pensioners under the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) and Local Government Superannuation Fund (LASF).
“Currently Madam Speaker, those under LASF and PSPF are not attached to the NAPSA scheme, hence cannot directly benefit from the partial withdrawal. But I would like to state that this (NAPSA) is more like a pilot to see if the benefit can also be extended to other pension regimes,” she said.
Ms Tambatamba said NAPSA had also I started addressing the challenges that had inhibited some contributors’ process of accessing the funds.
These included non-remittance of contributions by employers and duplication of identity documents.
She said the authority had started engaging with employers to achieve a scenario where contributions were enhanced to achieve the eligibility criteria of 60 per employee.
“The authority’s customer service department has also extended working hours from 06:00 hours to 22:00 hours in order to process as many claims as possible,” she said.
Ms Tambatamba also assured the House that only eligible citizens would benefit from the fund.
This was after Roan independent MP Joel Chibuye raised a concern that “ghost employees” could trick their way into accessing the funds.