Back pay for pensioners and disability grants

23 Jul 2015 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 23 JUL (NAMPA) – Pensioners and persons living with disabilities will receive a once-off grant payment of N.dollars 2 600 for the month of August 2015 alone, which includes four months of back pay.
In a media statement issued last week, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, I-Ben Nashandi said the back pay will include N.dollars 400 each for the four months, which spans from April to July 2015 accumulating into N.dollars 1 600.
“The ministry hereby informs all the beneficiaries for old age and disability grants that the payment of the increased grants will be paid from the month of August 2015 to all the eligible beneficiaries. From the month of September 2015 onwards, the eligible beneficiaries will receive N.dollars 1 000 per month. The ministry urges all beneficiaries to ensure that these grants are used for the welfare of the recipients and their families.” he said.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare is mandated under the National Pension Act (Act 10 of 1992) to pay a pension grant to those that attained the age of sixty years and a disability grant to those that reached the age of sixteen years and have been certified as disabled by a State Medical Officer.
The Government in the latest budget announced that social grants paid to registered old age persons and persons living with disabilities will increase from N.dollars 600 per month to N.dollars 1 000 per month with effect from 01 April 2015. This was the biggest increase ever recorded since Namibia’s independence in 1990.
President Hage Geingob in his State of the Nation Address in April this year said one of the first priorities of the new government was to increase the old age pension by 66.7 per cent, starting this 2015/2016 financial year. Further increases will be affected so that old age pension grants reach N.dollars 1 200 by 2017.
The announcement comes after years of campaigning for a substantial increase in the old age pension, with politicians and advocates saying, the social grant is not enough for pensioners to sustain themselves under the constant increase of rates for basic services such as water, electricity and food.