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- Nyasha Francis Nyaungwa
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A pie in the sky?
The Social Security Commission says it is hopeful that a draft report detailing the findings of research carried out by consultants on the long overdue National Pension Fund will be presented to the Commission in the next two months.
CEO Kenandei Tjivikua told The Economist on Tuesday that a draft report of the fund, on the cards since 1997, will be presented to the Commission in September before wider consultations can start with relevant stakeholders.
He said: “The research work commissioned by the SSC (Social Security Commission) with regards to the NPF (National Pension Fund) is nearing completion. It is envisaged that the draft research report will be presented to the SSC by September 2012. After internal deliberation by the SSC, wider stakeholder consultations will commence with all the relevant stakeholders.”
Tjivikua said the stakeholders’ input will be incorporated in the final report which will then be forwarded to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare for consideration.
The research team is said to have made some recommendations on various issues including changes on legal issues and economic implications. Tjivikua, however, could not be drawn to disclose in detail the recommendations made, saying they need to be endorsed by the SSC Board and other relevant stakeholders before they are made public.
The CEO, who has previously stated that the National Pension Fund and other outstanding critical funds such as the Development Fund and the National Medical Benefit Fund were his priority, said it was “not possible” to commit to an implementation date at this stage, given the process that still needs to be followed.
He added: “..... there is a need to introduce some changes to the SSC Act to enable implementation of the NPF. That process is not entirely in the hands of the SSC as such changes need to go through Parliament. Given all those dynamics, it is really hard for us to give you a concrete date for implementation.”
Tjivikua said the main challenge with the project of setting up a National Pension Fund, is the conflicting demands of the various stakeholders and to ensure that those demands are met, without any adverse effect on the overall project.
“Thus, we are working hard to make sure that stakeholders’ needs are accommodated during the research process.
“Another challenge we foresee is potential delay that might result from the busy schedule of Parliament. We shall try to overcome this by initiating the process of legal changes as soon as the final report has been endorsed by the SSC.”
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