The Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) is tracking the level of pension benefits being paid out by pension funds as the insurance regulator moves to protect pensioners.
IPEC commissioner, Grace Muradzikwa, told the commission’s annual general meeting held in the capital yesterday that the regulator was seized with the issue of low pension benefits.
“On average, payments amount to about ZWL$14 900. So, one of our focuses is to improve pension benefits. So, we have resolved to track the pension benefits,” Muradzikwa said.
“We are also asking for additional disclosures of foreign currency business done by pension funds to ensure that members benefit from forex generating assets. What we noticed is that pension funds own buildings and they earn rental income in foreign currency. So, members should benefit from such forex generating assets.”
IPEC board chairman, Albert Nduna, said IPEC has made significant strides in implementing the Commission of Inquiry recommendations.
He said IPEC’s supervisory capacity significantly improved since the inquiry was concluded.
Nduna said there was traction in causing amendments to the three Acts namely the Insurance and Pensions Act, the Insurance Act and the Pensions and Providence Act.
The Pensions and Providence Bill is awaiting Presidential assent while the IPEC and Insurance Bills were introduced in Parliament in the year under review.
“We expect the Bills to be passed in 2022,” Nduna said. “The envisaged amendments will address the identified regulatory and governance deficiencies as well as enhancing supervisory powers of the Commission.”
He added: “Given the delay experienced in having the new Bills passed into law, the Commission had to find ways to address the ills in the insurance and pensions industry, which required urgent attention, through causing issuance of Statutory Instruments and issuing guidelines, circulars and frameworks to protect the interests of policyholders and pension scheme members.”
Revenue for IPEC in the year to December 31, 2021 grew to ZWL$1.055bn from ZWL$ 514m reported in 2022.
Expenditure for the period under review was ZWL$656.9m from ZWL$259m in 2020.
The Commission recorded a surplus of ZWL$731m compared to ZWL$327.8 m in 2020.