THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) are fighting over pension collections as the national tax collector is making moves to take over the task from NSSA insisting this will improve the ease of doing business.
Zimra, the Zimbabwe Independent understands, wants to collect pension funds and retain 10% of the collections. Nssa is, however, resisting the move insisting it is responsible for the collection and investment of pensioners’ funds.
Nssa board chair Robin Vela confirmed the dispute with Zimra in an interview this week. He said the logic behind Zimra’s push is that it has systems to collect such large amounts, while also raising funds for government through the 10% charge.
Zimra, which has been having challenges in collecting revenue, is responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for revenue on behalf of government through the Ministry of Finance. Government is broke and has been struggling to pay civil servants June salaries, which had been staggered until yesterday.
Zimra already administers revenue heads such as customs duty, Value Added Tax, excise duty, income tax, Pay As You Earn, presumptive taxes, mining royalties, capital gains tax and Surtax.
“Under the auspices of ease of doing business, a proposal was received by the authority that it would make sense for Zimra to be the collecting agent for Nssa pension as well as they are for taxation; the logic for them being they believe they have systems in place doubling up in terms of collection,” Vela said.
Vela said Nssa is not supportive of the proposal.
“The funds that we have are not taxation, the funds that we have are pensioners’ funds which we then have to invest over time,” he said.
“We forwarded the proposal to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and to the Ministry of Finance; hence the two ministries are in full support that Nssa continues to collect pension funds.”
Nssa’s mandate tasked by government is to provide social security such as collecting pension funds and making sure that pensioners receive these on time every month.
Vela said given the difficulties that Zimra have had in terms of collection, Nssa does not believe it can do a better job than them.
“The last time I discussed the issue with minister (Prisca) Mupfumira (Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare)she said she is not supportive of Zimra collecting the funds on our behalf and mentioned that we also have the support of the Chief Secretary at the Office of the President and Cabinet. So we will continue collecting the pension funds.”