Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill: Don’t leave NSSA out, says Markham

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Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill: Don’t leave NSSA out, says Markham
Harare North legislator Norman Markham

Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill: Don’t leave NSSA out, says Markham

Harare North legislator Norman Markham has urged the government to include the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) in the Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill.

The Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill is currently in the Committee stage in the National Assembly.

According to Honourable Markham, NSSA should be included in the Bill because it has a competitive advantage over other players in the sector.

‘’I just want to buttress what has been said. We must remember with NSSA; NSSA has already got the competitive advantage over all other insurance companies by being a mandatory payment.

‘’Every single worker pays into NSSA and yet when it comes to the pensioners, they are receiving the least. One has to ask, with that competitive advantage, if you leave them out of this Bill so that they are not covered, who is going to oversee them?

‘’You have to ask yourself who is overseeing them now when all these mischiefs are occurring, including below average share transfers. All you are doing is; you are reaping the pensioner and when he wants his pension, he is voiceless because he is too old and not working. As a result, NSSA is becoming a feeding trough. There is no way there is logic in leaving NSSA out of this Bill,’’ he said.

However, in his response, the Deputy Minister of Finance Clemence Chiduwa said it was not possible to include NSSA in the Bill without amending the Act of Parliament that established it.

‘’Thank you Chair and thank you Hon. Biti, Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Madzimure and Hon. Markham for your submissions, which converged towards a very critical point where we are saying we cannot leave NSSA, the Medical Aid Society to be on its own without regulations.

‘’I think this is very important for us because we would want to protect the members of the public and those investing in their health and investing as part of their pensions.

 ‘’What I would want to bring to the attention of the Hon. Members is that it is true that the amendments went through the Cabinet Committee on Legislation, which I am also part of.  We are however guided by the AG’s office in terms of whether the provided amendments are in sync with the already existing legislation.  I would also want to draw your attention to the NSSA Act.

‘’In terms of how it has been presented by Hon. Mushoriwa, I do not think there is a problem in having the IPEC Act being the supreme Act when it comes to insurance and pensions.  But we have a problem where NSSA was established through an Act of Parliament, we can only do this if we amend the NSSA Act first. 

‘’What is important is for the Hon. Members to cause for the amendment of the NSSA Act which can be brought to this august House through a Private Member’s Bill.

‘’We can identify the offending clauses and bring them here.  This is what can cure our problem.  So if IPEC is the supreme law, then NSSA becomes subservient to that and we do not have a problem with it,’’ he said.

Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill: Don’t leave NSSA out, says Markham