12 Aug 2016 09:40am
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) - The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has set aside more than N.dollars 1.2 billion for unclaimed benefits due to beneficiaries.
GIPF is in possession of the names of 12 000 people, including orphans, pensioners, retirees, widows, widowers and disabled people, who they previously failed to trace and remunerate.
Speaking during the official launch of a campaign to trace beneficiaries here on Thursday, the funds Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Nuyoma said previous attempts by the fund to trace beneficiaries did not have the desired outcome.
This is not the first time we are doing this. We started in 2014 but it was inadequate, said Nuyoma, adding the fund intends to completely pay out all claims and eventually eliminate the list to help those in need and restore their dignity.
The current campaign started in June.
In the past, we did not have enough stakeholders but we included various institutions such as the regional councils, governors, traditional authorities, and chief regional officers to get the message across.
Nuyoma said various factors could have led to the failure to trace beneficiaries, including the inability of some pensioners to provide proof of existence as required; the failure of the concerned families to register potential beneficiaries; and a lack of family support to assist disabled members in receiving annuity payments, amongst others.
Nuyoma noted that a robust media campaign will be rolled out, including a mobile campaign dubbed 'Pension on Wheels' which will go to all regions to distribute the list of beneficiaries who have in the past not claimed what is due to them, as well as other related information.
He said GIPF will have an in-house team of experts from the institution to ensure the legitimacy of those who claim to be beneficiaries in the absence of supporting documents.
The GIPF will also seek the assistance of schools, churches, local authorities, traditional leaders and the general public when confronted with potential beneficiaries who have no documentation or proof of employment or any documentation required by the GIPF to pay the claim.
The fund values the relationship it has with traditional authorities and we are of the view that we should engage these structures for the purpose of tracing our beneficiaries.
There is no formal end date in place for the campaign, and Nuyoma said they will monitor how the tracing of beneficiaries fares before deciding when to end the exercise.
The GIPF was established in October 1989 to provide pension benefits to employees in service of the Namibian Government, as well as institutions established by Acts of Parliament. The operations of the fund are guided by the provisions of the Pension Funds Act of 1956.