Frequently asked questions about pensions

1. What is a pension?
It is a type of insurance against old age. It is a stream of income that is paid usually when one attains retirement age, but it can also be paid to a child till they are above 18 years of age. Widows and widowers may also receive pension on the death of a spouse.

2. What is a pension scheme?

It is a type of savings plan to help you save money for post-retirement life. It is an arrangement under which persons are entitled to benefits upon retirement, death or termination of employment or upon the occurrence of such events as specified in the law or the document establishing the pension scheme .It has favourable tax treatment compared to other forms of savings.

3. Why should I contribute to a pension scheme?

The main reason for a pension scheme is to save for retirement, but as a social protection instrument a pension scheme also offers benefits when one loses employment as a result of ill health, death or just decides to take up other activities.

4. Who manages a pension scheme?

The Board of Trustees is the one responsible for the management and control function of the scheme. Trustees appoint fund managers, administrators or qualified individuals to perform the duties of a fund manager and administrator.

5. How secure are pension investments?

Trustees and their agents (fund manager and administrator) are required by law to ensure that investments are only made in secure and profitable investments. Therefore, if the trustees follow the law, pension investments are secure.

6. How do I know if my parents are in pensionable employment?

Pension schemes give their members handbooks or members’ cards, so they need to show you the card.

7. I am over 55 and still working. Can deductions still be made on my salary?

It depends with the rules of a particular fund. If the rules allow that after pensionable age deductions be made towards pension, then those rules are applied or else deductions are stopped.

8. I am over 55 and still working. Can I take money out of my pension?

It depends with the rules of a fund .If the pensionable age is 55, then you can get your pension.

9. I have worked for different companies over the years.

i. How can I track down pensions I might have?

If you are aware who the fund administrators were, you can go to them and ask about your pension. If you do not know who the fund administrator is, you can go to your former employers and inquire about the administrator.

ii. Is it possible to transfer my pension from one administrator to another?

Yes it is possible. You communicate your intention with your former administrator and it can be done and documentation of transactions is traceable for future reference.

10. I have several pensions each from different employers is it possible to put all the accumulations into one pool?

Yes it’s possible.

You communicate your intentions with the fund administrators involved so that transactions can be done and all documents involved in the transactions are traceable for future reference.

11. If I cash out my pension pot how much tax will I pay?

The accumulation history is taken to ZIMRA and then ZIMRA gives a tax directive that determines how much is taxed from a pension.

12. What happens if my company goes bankrupt?

If a company goes bankrupt it can apply to IPEC and indicate that it is no longer able to remit towards pensions for its employees.

The Commission will request for financial statements from the fund administrator, which indicates the arrears that are due to the fund by the sponsoring employer and from these analysis statements, the Commission will pass a decision whether to dissolve the fund or not.

13. When I get retrenched,

can I claim my pension?

Yes, when one is retrenched they can claim their full pension.

The other conditions under which you can claim your pensions is:

When you have reached normal retirement age as per the rules of your pension fund;

When you have resigned or have been dismissed; (you only receive your own contributions while the employer contributions are preserved until you reach retirement age or upon your death)

When you have retired early;

When you leave employment for medical reasons; and

When the fund member has died, and you are a beneficiary.

We also have a radio programme, “Inside Insurance and Pensions” on Star FM radio station every Wednesday from 7:30pm-8:00pm.

  •  For any enquiries on insurance and pensions, please contact us on the following details: 160 Rhodesville Avenue, Greendale, Harare; Tel: (04) 443358 /443361 /443322; Cell: 0772 154 281 / 2 /3 /4; WhatsApp: 0772 154 281; Email: [email protected]; Facebook: Insurance and Pensions Commission; Twitter: @IPECZW; Website: www.ipec.co.zw
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