18 January 2013

Namibia: Improved Benefits for GIPF Members

Windhoek — The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) on Wednesday announced new improved funeral benefits for members and their dependents, as approved by its Board of Trustees in September last year.

The implementation of the new benefits came into effect on December 14 last year following the final ratification of the Board of Trustees' recommendations of the new rules by the Registrar of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa).

Members of the fund who lost relatives on or after December 14, 2012 and received the old benefits will receive backpay, in terms of the new rules.

The new Chief Executive Officer of the GIPF, David Nuyoma, said the review of the members' benefits is in line with the fund's objective to maintain a market related benefit structure.

"We are happy to announce that the Fund did not only increase the existing funeral benefits, but the whole structure has been overhauled to allow pensioners who were not receiving this benefit in the past to participate," Nuyoma told members of the media on Wednesday.

However, pensioners who will be included are only senior citizens who have retired from the fund and the benefits do not extend to their dependents, as is the case with active members. "In view of the new structure, the Fund will assist in burying its members and pensioners in the most dignified manner," said Nuyoma.

Nuyoma further explained that the decision to increase funeral benefits was taken after a thorough assessment of the Fund's ability to afford the increase, therefore, members will not be charged extra money for the provision of the new benefits.

He said the Fund remains fully funded with a ratio of assets to liabilities exceeding 105 percent. "We urge all our members, pensioners and beneficiaries to take note of these changes and to make use of the benefits," urged the new GIPF chief.

The GIPF has over 80 000 active members and according to Nuyoma, the management and board are looking at incorporating housing benefits, saying it has become urgent.

The new benefits are as follows:

Deceased                              Old benefits      New benefits

Member before retirement        N$5 000.00      N$8 000.00

Member After retirement         N$ 0.00            N$ 8 000.00

Spouse of a member              N$5 000.00       N$8 000.00

Member's child (above 1 year) N$1 000.00       N$3 000.00

Member's child (below 1 year) N$ 500.00         N$1 000.00

Member's still born child         N$ 500.00         N$1 000.00

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