Zimbabwe: Mthuli Agrees to Pension Funds Bill Amendment

By Zvamaida Murwira
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has agreed to amend the Pension and Provident Funds Bill aimed at strengthening the administration of pension and other funds.

The Bill is now before Parliament following recommendations from Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance.

The extra amendments are expected to be tabled tomorrow when the National Assembly resumes sitting.

He made the concessions recently during the Second Reading of the Bill and he will be effecting the changes during the Committee stage tomorrow.

In the Second Reading, the principles of a Bill are discussed while in the Committee Stage each clause is agreed to or dismissed and this is the stage when clauses can be changed or new clauses added.

The Pension and Provident Funds Bill seeks to provide for the registration, regulation and dissolution of pension and provident funds as well as to repeal the Pension and Provident Funds Act.

“Mr Speaker Sir, following debate in the House, suggestions and comments from the Budget and Finance Portfolio Committee and public consultations, we have taken on board the following suggestions for which amendments have been made.

“Let me start with the amendment of the title, in the amendment to Clause 6 to correct an error made on the title page and document header. The title should be cited as the Pension and Provident Funds Bill as opposed to Pensions and Provident Funds Bill,” said Prof Ncube.

Clause Two which gives mandate to the Commissioner of Insurance, Pensions and Provident Fund to accredit actuaries will be amended further to shift this responsibility to the Insurance and Pensions Commission.

The Bill defines stakeholders as anyone who has interest in the affairs of the fund, but there will be further amendments to redefine stakeholders through citing them.

Clause Three of the Bill provides that the Pensions and Provident Fund Act shall prevail over any other enactment inconsistent with it. That will be deleted to avoid providing superpowers over other laws.

Clause Four of the Bill provides that the Commissioner performs their duties in consultation with board of directors, but amendments will be inserted to ensure that the Commissioner performs their duties under the direction of the board of directors.

Clause 16 allows the Commission to exempt a participating employer to discontinue their participation to a more favourable fund, but there will be amendments to ensure that at least 50 percent of the employees approve the arrangement.

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