LABOUR and Social Security Minister Brenda Tambatamba says implementing pension reforms has to be done in a responsible manner because doing it in a rushed way might not be beneficial to the nation.

Last year, President Hakainde Hichilema said NAPSA would be reformed to start paying mid term benefits so that contributors don’t have to wait until retirement to access their money.

And in an interview, Tambatamba said some progress would be made by the end of this year.

“It is going to happen; we are on the way. The nation should be assured that we will progress very well on this matter, we will make some good progress by the time we reach the end of the year, this year. So, the reforms are going to happen but we have got to do it in a very responsible manner, we have got to make sure that we dissect, we broaden and do the right thing that will stand the test of time. Doing it in a rushed way is not going to be beneficial to the worker, it is not going to be beneficial to the nation at large. That is why we are taking good care to ensure that stakeholders who are relevant to the conversation of this reform are all included in that roadmap,” she said.

Tambatamba said the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council was expected to meet this week to discuss the road map on the reforms, among other issues.

“We are at a point where we will be discussing the road map, the draft road map has been put into place, options of executing that have been discussed and NAPSA has briefed this ministry, the Minister and the Permanent Secretary. After the briefing, we have got now the proposed road map of the reforms on that pension reform. So, we are on the way to doing that. On Thursday this week, we have the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) to review the road map and approve it. Once it will be approved, then it will move to doing the protocols of any reform going through the protocols via the relevant ministries at Cabinet as well as the Ministry of Justice. The important thing you [should] take note of is that the TCLC will be approving the roadmap that has been submitted to the ministry to execute the reform,” said Tambatamba.

“You will be informed when we have done the TCLC because I will be telling you a time frame that is not approved by the social partners. We believe in that democratic process where the employees and the employers’ representatives have a say and the other stakeholders that we invite to the TCLC are many, they also must have a say. So, once we have agreed on that road map between the three social partners and others, then they are able to tell you the dates that have lined up to say these are the indicative or illustrative dates of moving it from one stage to another.”