Tanzania Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has ordered Pension Funds in the country to take tough legal action against all employers who default paying their workers’ pension contributions.
The Vice-President gave the order in Mwanza, yesterday, while officiating at the opening of a seminar that focused on life after retirement, opportunities and investment organised by the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF).
PSPF organised the seminar for 450 civil servants who are expecting to retire from service soon, from all districts in Mwanza Region.
The VP’s order targeted all employers who have been either delaying or completely refusing to remit employees’ pension contributions.
She said that taking stern legal measures was the only way to bring such a malpractice to an end. The Vice-President explained that remitting statutory contributions to the Pension Funds will facilitate timely payment of terminal benefits to civil servants upon retirement from service.
Speaking on debts that the government owes Pension Funds, the VP said the government was in the process of verifying them before effecting payments.
She said that upon completion of the verification exercise the government will pay without delay. The Vice President insisted that the government will continue to ensure contributions of workers from institutions that receive government subventions are remitted on time.
She implored civil servants expecting to retire soon or later not to give up after retirement, asking them to reorganise themselves by investing in projects such as establishing small-scale industries, agriculture and entrepreneurship.
According to the VP, investing their terminal benefits in such economic ventures will help create employment for youth instead of misusing their money. “Elders are dependable and most important human resource for the nation. We are always told that nothing goes wrong in their presence.
I, therefore, call upon PSPF to work hard and with diligence to ensure these elders get their rights in accordance with the law,” she said. She also cautioned the elders against extravagance, asking them to spend their hard-earned cash in areas that will get them income.
The VP hailed PSPF for training the expected retirees, saying the training will help reorganise their life after retirement. Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, assured the expected retirees that the government will supervise and monitor the performance of Pension Funds so that they offer good terminal benefits to their members.
About two week ago Dr Kijaji made more or less similar remarks against pension contribution defaulters, saying nonsubmission of the pension contribution was violation of the law, adding that legal measures will be instituted against them.