THE National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) says President Hakainde Hichilema’s assent to the National Pension Scheme (Amendment) Bill, 2022 into law will enable all members who contributed to the Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF) before 2000 to claim their benefits.
The new law will facilitate the payment of all ZNPF members who contributed during that period and allow for the closure of those accounts before the authority starts attending to NAPSA member account holders.
NAPSA director general Muyangwa Muyangwa said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the revision of the minimum age limit for the one-off early access to the ZNPF benefits to 36 years entailed that all who had not claimed their benefits could do so without waiting to reach 50 years.
“Before this law was amended, all ZNPF accountholders could not access their contributions until they reached the age of 50, but with the signing into law yesterday by our President, those members can now access their contributions even if they are below the age of 50,” Mr Muyangwa said.
Mr Muyangwa said the authority settled for 36 years because NAPSA records showed that the youngest member of the scheme was of that age.
“In a nutshell, what the law enables us to do, it will facilitate payment of all ZNPF members and allow for the closure of the accounts. Remember, some of the members that transferred from ZNPF to NAPSA ended up maintaining two accounts,” he said.
Mr Muyangwa said the closure of the ZNPF accounts would leave only the NAPSA accounts existing.
Mr. Muyangwe said the NAPSA was ready to pay the ZNPF members, who comprised self- claimants and survivors, upon producing requisite documents like the original National Registration Cards, death records and appointment order as administrator.
“Is NAPSA ready? Yes, we are. So, to that effect, we will put in place measures to ensure that we can serve our members immediately upon claim. All our stations across the country will be attending to the ZNPF claimants without exceptions,” Mr Muyangwa said.
On the NAPSA account holders, he said a similar one-off early access to benefit by members would be implemented once another law was passed.
He said Cabinet had already approved one-off early access of benefits by NAPSA accountholders and what was being awaited were the final stages of legislation.