Zimbabwe’s pensions industry has four basic pillars of social security namely (i) the mandatory old age pension, survivor insurance and invalidity insurance under the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), (ii) the mandatory public occupational pension, (iii) the private voluntary employer sponsored group pension arrangements and (iv) the individual savings plan.
- National Social Security Authority (NSSA), which was established in October 1994 in terms of the National Social Security Authority Act [Chapter 17:04] of 1989. NSSA administers a compulsory defined benefit pension arrangement for employees working in the formal sector under the National Pension Scheme, also known as the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme. In addition, NSSA administers an Accident Prevention Workers Compensation and Insurance Fund, which provides financial relief to insured employees and their families when an employee is afflicted or killed by a work-related accident or disease.
- Public Service Pension Scheme is a Defined Benefit (DB) pay-as you- go scheme for employees in the civil service. Employee ‘contributes’ a nominal 7.5% of his/her gross salary, against which, the Government guarantees a specified lifetime pension, or in some cases, until the death of his/her spouse.
- Private Occupational Pension Scheme-This is a pension plan set-up by the employer for the benefit of employees in retirement. The sponsoring employer can contribute a defined portion towards the pension fund, which is a separate legal persona, while the employee contributes the other portion. However, in other companies, the employer may choose not to contribute.
- Personal Pension Plans (Individual Pension Policies)-
These are pension plans that are set up by life insurance companies targeting individual members not necessarily tied to any employer or any formal setting. Such schemes are ideal for those who are self-employed or working in the informal sector. Those who work for a company where there is no private occupational pension scheme can also consider the personal pension plan.
Now that you have an appreciation of the pension plans in Zimbabwe, it is critical for you to ask yourself what percentage of your current salary w o u l d e n a b l e y o u t o l i v e comfortably after you have retired. If your only savings plan is NSSA or the Public Service Pension Scheme, will it meet your needs when you retire? If not, why don’t you consider topping up your savings by signing up for a personal pension plan? If you are on a private occupational pension scheme, the amount of money that you contribute and the portion that is contributed by your employer determines how much you will get at retirement. So the more you contribute, the more you will get at retirement. It is, therefore, important to enquire from your pension scheme, how much you are likely to get at retirement so that you can make a decision on whether to top up your
retire m e n t s a v i n g s t h r o u g h Additional Voluntary Contributions towards your retirement or a personal pension plan.