Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:04:10 +0000
By NATION REPORTER
The Zambia Union of Government and Allied Workers (UG) has called on President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to immediately set up a commission of inquiry into the operations of all pension schemes following revelations of sinister activities by the Managers of Zambia’s biggest multi-employer pension scheme Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund.
UG President Muyaywa Mwiyaluka Kabisa told the Daily Nation yesterday that only a public inquiry can reveal the true state of the pension system in the country and that it was imperative for the government to act in order to restore public trust and ensure accountability by pension fund managers.
Mr. Kabisa stated that the UG had noted with sadness the stories surrounding Saturnia Pension Fund.
“The allegations of possible financial impropriety levelled against the Fund which are now in public domain have raised misgivings regarding pensions and the entire social security system in Zambia,” he said.
He said that social security in any nation is cardinal and the workers cannot afford to watch these concerns go without being addressed.
“We appeal to the Republican President to set up a commission of inquiry into the operations of all Pension Funds. This will give the true state of our pension system, restore a sense of responsibility among pension fund managers and abate any tendencies of abuse of pension funds,” Mr. Kabisa said.
Mr. Kabisa said that the allegations against Saturnia Regna Pension Fund were an eye opener which had put the whole pension system in doubt.
“If contributions under any pension scheme are prone to un-procedural transactions; then our pension benefits are not in safe hands,” he said.
He said that employees needed to know the truth about the Saturnia Pension Fund allegations as well as what is going on at the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) and the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and other pension houses.
The union leader said that Part XIV, article 187 of the Zambian Constitution had recognized Pension Benefits as a right to all employees and that any action by any person that is contrary to the spirit of the constitution is violation of the Zambian Constitution and must be adequately remedied.
The Saturnia Regna Pension Fund illegally externalized $40 million of pension funds without the authority of the minister of finance as require by law.
Further alarming revelations have revealed that pensioners’ contributions were going into the bank account of a private company named Saturnia Regina Pension Trustees Limited and another unknown entity named as Saturnia Pension Scheme.
The managers of the fund have also been resisting efforts by the elected Trustees to set up an independent fund secretariat and the appointment of a property manager while the title deeds for fund properties are held by Saturnia Regna Pension Registered Trustees instead of the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund as ordered by the Pension and Insurance Authority.