Councils not remitting pensions, says minister

HARARE - Councils are not remitting money to the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF), Local Government minister July Moyo has revealed.

He told Senators this week after he had been asked by Zanu PF Mashonaland Central Senator Damien Mumvuri what his ministry was doing “to ensure that pensioners get their monies while they are still alive, especially workers from the local authorities such as Harare and Bulawayo municipalities”.

In his response, Moyo said: “A number of pensioners in this country, not just from local authorities, are experiencing extreme problems on accessing pension schemes.

“As a result, government commissioned a study to look at what happened since dollarisation in this country.

“That report; I am sure the minister of Finance and Economic Development will be able to publish.”

“It will indicate all the areas where pensioners are having problems to access their pension schemes.

“As regards to the local authorities, they are not an exception to this problem that is being faced by many of our people in the society,” he said.

“The first thing is that the local authorities have is a pension scheme which is self-managed by the authorities themselves.

“The Local Authority Pension Fund has buildings across the country and these buildings still have value.

“Therefore, we expect that, value despite the dollarisation, will be looked at in line with the recommendations of the Committee that was set up by the minister of Finance and Economic Development once the publications are made public,” added Moyo.

He further said: “In my view, it will show that some local authorities are not paying enough contribution to the Local Authority Pension Fund; they are defaulting in paying the Local Authority Pension Fund.

“It will also show that while they deduct the salaries of the workers so that they can send that money to the Local Authority Pension Fund that is not happening.”

“Government’s desire is to make sure those pensioners, whether in local authorities or not in local authorities be given their due pensions when they retire.”

Last year, local authorities owed LAPF more than $167 million in outstanding contributions and interest.

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