PRETORIA – Friday, 12th September, 2014 – THE NATIONAL Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) has embarked on a programs that will see the institution split into two distinctive functions as a way of enhancing efficiency.
This was announced by chairman of the Investment Committee of the NAPSA Board, Mr. Guy Phiri, in Pretoria yesterday. Mr. Phiri was part of a team of NAPSA Board Members, led by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Mr. Trevor Kaunda, who paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Muyeba Chikonde.
Mr. Phiri said the NAPSA board of directors was currently working on separating the administration and the investment functions of the institution.
He explained that at the moment, NAPSA dealt with the collection of contributions from members and then disbursement of benefits, which was on the administrative side of operations. The money collected is then invested into schemes as a way of protecting members’ benefits.
“So we want to separate these two functions as part of our 2013-2017 Strategic Plan; let NAPSA administration handle the administrative part of it. We want to separate or divorce the investment function from actual administration.”
The team is in Pretoria on a study tour of the Government Employees Pension Fund of South Africa.
Mr. Phiri, who is also NAPSA board vice-chairman, disclosed that the employees’ pension fund of South Africa had over US$144 billion out of which it was looking to invest 5% in Africa. He said his team discussed potential investment ventures into Zambia during the tour and had managed to open up lines of communication which should lead to tangible results for Zambia.
He described the visit as fruitful in the sense that his team had been exposed to different operational systems. Mr. Phiri said his delegation realised that it could not implement everything that it had learnt during the tour and that the focus would now be on prudently restructuring NAPSA so that the experiences from South Africa could be contextualized to the Zambian situation before implementation.
He said his team was now looking at initiating exchange programs with the pension fund of South Africa in order to effectively transfer skills to NAPSA.
Mr. Phiri said a delegation from the Government Employees Pension Fund will soon visit Zambia so that they could get a sense of the investment climate.
Other members in the delegation are Mr. Joseph Chikolwa, who is a Board member; Mrs. Lydia Chilumba from NAPSA; NAPSA Director for Contributions and Benefits, Mr. Yollard Kachinda, and Mrs. Yihembak Chirwa, Acting Principal Parliamentary Counsel in the Ministry of Justice.
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