National Social Security Authority (NSAA) is set to review pension payouts by between 25 and 30 percent with effect from October 1, 2021, in line with the roadmap of periodic reviews announced by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima.
The minister made the pledge to periodically review payouts during engagements with pensioners' representatives in the first half of the year.
Pensioners under the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme (POBS), had their pay-outs reviewed by 30 percent, subject to a minimum of $3 900 per month, which is equivalent to about US$45 at the prevailing RBZ auction rate.
The State pensions authority had committed to increasing the minimum pension pay-out to the equivalent of US$30 by July and US$40 in by October, 2021, before settling at the equivalent of US$60 by year end.
Those under the Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme (APWCS) have been awarded a 25 percent increment, subject to a minimum of $5 200, which is equivalent to US$50 at the prevailing auction rate.
NSSA general manager Mr Arthur Manase, said the reviews were in partial fulfilment of the authority's desire to effectively address the welfare of pensioners during 2021.
"We undertook to periodically review pension levels for the two NSSA schemes, POBS and APWCS, in response to the prevailing economic conditions, particularly the Covid-19 induced hardships.
"The reviews are based on recommendations from our actuaries, Beacon Actuarial Services, who evaluated the financial adequacy of the schemes to pay pension increases as well as an annual bonus.
"I am pleased that in addition to the increases, we shall be paying a bonus as a thirteenth cheque to all beneficiaries in December 2021."
Mr Manase, who assumed the reins at NSSA in January 2020, initiated a rebranding process that has transformed the state pension fund's junk corporate governance status and poor public perception, to near bell-weather stock status among state enterprises.
Apart from periodic reviews of benefits pay-outs, NSSA has rolled out various non-monetary benefits in 2021.
These include, among others, discounted groceries at selected SPAR outlets, a revolving fund for income generating projects disbursed through NBS and POSB, medical assistance through the NSSA mobile clinic, as well as the establishment of pensioner and staff clinics in its six regions.
Negotiations with financial institutions for the waiver of bank charges for NSSA pensioners are also at an advanced stage.
In addition, the Authority is working towards setting up a Boer goat out grower scheme, where it will provide seed, technical assistance, as well as markets for pensioners who participate in the programme.
"NSSA is a national asset, so it is only proper for us to augment the government's efforts in providing social protection for the people of Zimbabwe.
"We want to contribute significantly towards attainment of our national vision of becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030," said Mr Manase.