By Ndafadza Madanha
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says its core mandate is to provide a basic safety net for its stakeholders but this does not preclude them from making additional savings.
In an interview the marketing and communication executive Tendai Mutseyekwa said it was a misconception for people to expect NSSA payouts to cushion pensioners.
The authority has in recent time come under intense criticism for the monthly payouts to pensioners which are not commensurate with cost of living.
Pensioners receive a minimum of US$80 a month.
“Social security is providing a basic safety net and its does not replace your own saving scheme NSSA is the first step to providing security and ensure that people at retirement do not slip into abject poverty and that there are no huge disparities in society. People are encouraged to make other saving alternatives for their retirement.” said Mutseyekwa.
NSSA constituted and established in terms of the NSSA Act of 1989 and was the statutory corporate body tasked by the government to provide social security.
He said the authority was in the final stages of launching its voluntary SMEs scheme which will cover those employed in the informal sector.
“The voluntary SMEs scheme will run alongside our two schemes which are targeted at the formal sector. However our economy has dramatically shifted and 94.6 percent are employed in the informal sector but they do not have social security cover. We are confident this scheme will be launched this year and its benefits to the members are immense”.
He said the scheme was flexible and would provide medical cover for beneficiaries in line with other progressive jurisdictions.
NSSA is a major player on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and has a balance sheet of over US$1.5 billion with a significant property portfolio across the country
The provision of social security can be defined as instituting public policy measures intended to protect an individual in life situations or conditions in which his/her livelihood and well being may be threatened, such as those engendered by sickness, workplace injuries, unemployment, invalidity, old age, retirement and death.
At the moment NSSA is administering two schemes: Pension and Other Benefits Scheme and Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme.