Claiming a Pension.
What is a Pension?
A Pension is regular income given to a person that has retired. In Zambia the official retirement age is 55 years.
How can you claim your Pension?
A worker who has retired from formal employment can claim their Pension from any National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) office or any designated representative nationwide. Currently NAPSA is present in the country’s major cities such as such Lusaka, Mansa, Ndola, Livingstone, Kabwe, Kasama, Chipata, Mongu and Solwezi. Pensioners can also claim their Pension from NAPSA’s 10 area offices and 13 district branches.
Officials at NAPSA will collate and verify the person seeking a Pension after which they will determine under which category they fall.
There are different categories under which a person can be eligible for a Pension. The stages are categorised as follow:
Firstly, a contributing member must have made at least 180 monthly contributions to NAPSA. In this case such a person will be entitled to a Retirement Pension. Such a person is also said to be fully insured by NAPSA.
In the case of Invalidity Pension, a member must have made at least 60 but less than 180 monthly contributions to NAPSA. Such a person will be entitled to an Invalidity Pension. An Invalidity Pension in this case will be slightly lower than a Retirement Pension. If such a member also meets the recency of work test they are currently insured.
Lump Sum Payment
For someone to be given a Lump Sum Payment members should have made between 12 and 60 monthly contributions. Such persons are partially insured and therefore they are eligible for a Lump Sum Payment.
Unlike in the case of a Retirement Pension or Invalidity Pension that is given on a monthly basis until the death of the member, a Lump Sum Payment is a one-off Pension that is given to a retired person and member of NAPSA.
Individuals who make less than 12 monthly contributions to NAPSA are not insured and therefore they do not qualify for any form of a Pension. NAPSA covers all regularly employed persons in all sectors of the economy, although coverage is currently restricted to the formal sector.
When is a person disqualified from the National Pension Scheme?
The National Pension Scheme Act says the following persons shall not be required to register as members of the National Pension Scheme:
- An employed person whose monthly earnings are less than K 15,000
- The spouse of the employer
- A member of the family of the employer who ordinarily resides with the employer
- An employee of an international organisation who is not a citizen of Zambia
- An employee of a foreign government who is accorded diplomatic or equivalent status and who is not a citizen of Zambia
- A member of the armed forces
- A public officer who is on pensionable employment under the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) or the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF).
The National Pensions Scheme Authority offers a wide overview on how one can become a member of different pension schemes available in the country.