Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) registrar Christopher Mapani says the company has started disposing of assets of two insurance companies, A-Plus Life Assurance Limited and Focus Assurance Limited, liquidated in 2017.

The two insurance companies were placed under compulsory liquidation in 2017 after being declared insolvent for having more liabilities than assets.

In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the Toronto Centre’s Core Curriculum Certificate Course at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Monday, Mapani revealed that the Authority had gathered all the assets and had since commenced the process of disposal.

“I also thought I could update you on the liquidation of two companies that we have. As you may be aware, in 2017, we placed two companies in liquidation namely; A-Plus Life Assurance Limited as well as Focus Assurance Limited. The status as at now is that we have gathered the assets, which we are now disposing of. It still remains our hope that by the end of this year, we should start paying out. But this is dependent on us disposing of the assets,” Mapani said.

He said the Authority intended to start paying policy holders early next year.

“Right now, we are in the process of disposing of the assets and once we dispose of the assets, the next step will be to pay out the policyholders. The process is moving on well, but not as fast as we would love. But we are optimistic that by the end of the year, the substantial chance of these assets will have been sold out and come early next year, we should be able to start paying out the policyholders,” Mapani added.

“As an Authority, we would not want to see more companies being liquidated. In that regard, we have taken several measures to mitigate that (and) one of that is to intensify our supervision levels. We are now regularly visiting these insurance companies to ensure that they play by the rules. The few that may be failing to play by the rules end up tarnishing the image of the entire industry, even when the industry generally is sound. We have very sound and financially stable insurance companies.”

And Mapani appealed to all companies to ensure that they put up occupational pension schemes so that their employees were not rendered destitute once they left employment.

“Our message to companies is that they ensure that they put in place an occupational pension scheme. As you may be aware, one of the roles of the Pensions and Insurance Authority is to regulate the pensions industry and in doing that, we have a role to ensure that companies put in place insurance schemes so that their employees when they leave employment will not end up as destitute,” said Mapani.