ZIMBABWE Pensions and Insurance Rights Trust (Zimpirt) is lobbying Finance minister Tendai Biti to force the Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) to release a report on an investigations on the abuse of pensioners’ and life assurance policy holders’ funds by life assurance companies, which the minister commissioned last year.
Biti last year gave a directive to Ipec to investigate alleged abuse and paltry payments of pensions to beneficiaries by life assurance companies and pension funds. The investigation is reported to have been finalised by August last year but Ipec is still holding on to it.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Finance dated December 3, 2012 seen by businessdigest, Zimpirt, in collaboration with the Forum of Pensions and Insurance Governance of Zimbabwe FPIGZ, demanded the release of the report, accusing Ipec of deliberately suppressing the release of the findings of the investigation to evade disciplinary action by the ministry.
“We request that Ipec disclose the findings of the investigation (and investigation conduct thereof) on the correctness of pension and insurance financial values as computed by insurance companies. No details were given about this investigation, contrary to established practice for public enquiries,” reads part of the letter. “Ipec is engaging in this repressive act with a measure of impunity, while for some reason, evading disciplinary action from the Ministry of Finance. Most importantly, this repressive act is being perpetuated while members of our constituencies, pensioners in particular, continue to be prejudiced.”
Zimpirt and FPIGZ, in the letter, said the paltry payments of pensions to beneficiaries were a breach of contractual agreements between insurance companies and pensioners.
Zimpirt general manager Martin Tarusenga said prior to the investigation, his organisation submitted over 500 pension assessments to various insurance companies including Ipec showing irregularities such as gross underpayment of pensions.
Pensioners continue to be paid paltry monthly allowances with some getting as little as US$40 per month.