OLD MUTUAL, the largest pension scheme in Zimbabwe said it is ready to pay out pensioners in foreign currency but was awaiting clearance from the Commissioner of Pensions.
Businessdigest understands that Old Mutual recently wrote to pensioners under their books informing them that they had introduced two payment schemes.
Under the proposal, pensioners with less than US$20 per month will be paid a lump sum while those above US$20 will be paid on a monthly basis.
Payments would have commenced this month but have been stopped by the Commissioner of Pensions, Old Mutual claims.
It is understood that this was at the instigation of smaller pension funds that are low on liquidity
fearing that once Old Mutual start paying in forex they would be pressured by their clients to so the same.
An official at Old Mutual yesterday said they will start paying in hard currency â€œsoonâ€ after gettingÂ clearance from the Commissioner of Pensions.
â€œWe are waiting for approval to pay out pensions from the Commissioner then our accounts department will deposit money into the pensionersâ€™ accountsâ€
Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Commissioner of Insurance Ninetti Mpofu promised to respond to questions sent to her, but had not responded at the time of going to print.
With the introduction of multiple currencies in February pensioners have not been getting their monthly pay as pension schemes said their foreign currency reserves were low.
This week the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) said pension warrants are now â€œvalid for only two months instead of three months. So warrants not cashed within two months from the date of issue will be returned to NSSAâ€.
NSSA resumed operations in April paying benefits in foreign currency.
Most pensioners stopped collecting their pension as the cost of transport to town was more than they were being paid.