LOCAL Government and Rural Development Minister Gary Nkombo says his government has intentions to reform the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF).
And Nkombo says LASF owes retirees and pensioners over K500 million.
Responding to a question from Chama North PF member of parliament Yotam Mutayachalo on what the future of LASF was, considering that the organisation had not been recruiting new members, Nkombo said government would redesign the scheme’s parameters and amend relevant pieces of legislation that would facilitate the admission of new members to the fund.
“Members of this House may be aware that LASF was impaired by the non admission of members since the operationalisation of National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). Following this, the government has intentions to reform LASF and you will be seeing very soon the changes that we are going to be making. We are going to reform it by redesigning the scheme parameters and amending the relevant pieces of legislation that will facilitate the admission of new members under the fund,” he said.
“Members may recall that Ministry of Finance and National Planning in his budget address to this House, he did indicate that the government will implement the broad pension reforms by amending the LASF Act cap 284 of the Laws of Zambia, the NAPSA Act number 35 of 1996 Act, the National Pension Act Cap 256 of the Laws of Zambia.”
He disclosed that the scheme owed retirees and pensioners over K500 million as of December 31, 2021.
“Madam Speaker, as of 31st December 2021, LASF owed 15,395 retirees and pensioners a total sum of K531,101,901.47. The government through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning released K50 million towards repayment of retirees on December 31st 2021. The disbursements commenced in January 2022. The government remains very committed to settling these owing amounts to the retirees,” said Nkombo.
“Over the last years, LASF has been making marginal adjustments to increase the annuity depending on the financial position and actuarial recommendation. The current annuity payable was last adjusted in the year 2019. However, due to the decline in LASF’s financial position over the years, the institution has not been able to increase the annuity any further. Government through LASF has no current plan to increase the annuity due to the same reason being financial constraints.”