• First attempt was ineffective
• N$1.2 billion earmarked for payouts
The state pension fund is on a drive to trace more than 12 000 beneficiaries who are yet to claim their benefits from the fund.
After the fund’s first attempt to locate its beneficiaries in 2014 did not produce adequate results, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has again come out ‘aggressively’ with another campaign that seeks to trace beneficiaries nationwide, who need to claim their benefits. The launch of the campaign was held yesterday in the capital.
Working this time around with a circle of stakeholders, the objective of the campaign is to reduce the list of unclaimed benefits to zero.
At the launch, the fund’s Chief Executive Officer, David Nuyoma, highlighted the painful reality that the fund is facing. This is in reference to the increasing list of unclaimed benefits in the fund. The list is said to have close to 12 000 non-active beneficiaries that need to be identified to receive benefits such as widows/widowers, retirees, orphans and disabled beneficiaries.
“The worrying escalating trends in unclaimed benefits is attributed to a myriad of reasons, including the inability of some of our pensioners to provide proof of existence as required in terms of our rules, failure of concerned families to register orphans, lack of family support to assist disabled members in renewing their annuity payments, beneficiaries residing outside Namibian borders, general lack of awareness about benefits due to members and most regrettably, the disagreements among family members,” said Nuyoma.
The fund embarks on this journey with the publication of names of all affected beneficiaries, which will be distributed to information points countrywide. The fund calls on government ministries, offices and agencies to further distribute this publication to employees to identify names of their loved ones.
In the meantime, the fund plans to embark on a road show using its’ ‘Pension on Wheel’ Mobile Van to engage communities and share the list. The fund’s long list of stakeholders also stretches to regional as well as political constituency offices, traditional authorities, tertiary institutions, trade unions, schools, churches and local authorities.
“We have no doubt that these channels are critical in our efforts to addressing this plight. Our target is to reduce this list to zero, as we do not want anyone to be left out,” Nuyoma added.
Asked on the monetary value attached to the exercise, Nuyoma highlighted that the fund has put aside N$1.2 billion to cover costs to the campaign and other unforeseen eventualities. Upon proper scrutiny on the eligibility of a beneficiary who is owed benefits, Nuyoma said, payments will be done within three weeks. Annuitants are thus called on to visit the nearest GIPF offices for biometrics enrollment to ensure that they receive their pension benefits.