The public pension fund National Social Security Authority (NSSA) increased its benefit payouts to $148.9 million last year from $115.7 million in 2012 while 75 companies closed shop, leaving 9 000 people jobless, the company said today.
Benefits included retirement, invalidity, survivor’s and worker’s compensation insurance fund claims.
“The increase in benefits was largely attributable to the increase in minimum pensions, an increase in the number of beneficiaries and the increase in the maximum insurable earnings limit,” NSSA said in a statement on its full year results for 2013.
Income from pension contributions went up 27 percent to $173.4 million from $136.3 million in 2012.
Total Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund premiums went also up by 21 percent to $58,5 million in 2013.
The authority’s assets grew 17 percent to $1.038 billion from $886.6 million, exceeding the one billion dollar mark for the first time since the introduction of multiple currency system in 2009.
Minimum retirement pensions went up in August 2013 from $30 to $60, while the minimum invalidity pension and minimum survivor’s pension went up from $20 to $30 per month.
NSSA said the number of pension fund beneficiaries increased from 152 952 in 2012 to 167 926 in 2013. Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund beneficiaries increased from 7 257 in 2012 to 9 313 in 2013.
The increase in national contributions was largely attributable to the increase in insurable earnings ceiling from $200 to $700 last year and the combined employee/employer contribution rate from six percent to seven percent.
“However, despite the increase, revenue was barely within budget,” chairman Ngoni Masoka said.
An estimated 75 companies closed last year leaving close to 9 000 workers without jobs, he added.
“This is a major concern for the authority, as it is likely to affect pension benefit levels payable to the affected employees on retirement,” he said.
Investment income went down 21 percent to $24 million in 2013 from $30.6 million in 2012 with income mainly being made up of money market interest and rental income.
Operating expenses were up five percent from $41.7 million in 2012 to $43.9 million in 2013.
The authority recorded 5 666 serious occupational injuries in 2013 compared with 5 141 the previous year. There were 78 fatalities compared with 103 the previous year.-The Source