Parliament suspends debate over Pension Bill

Parliament has suspended deliberations behind tabling of the Pension Amendment Private Member’s Bill (PMB).

The Bill aims at amending sections 65 and 68 of the Pension Act in order to provide shorter period in which benefits can be paid to a member when the member has permanently left the service of an employer.

According to owner of the Bill Likoma Islands lawmaker Ashems Songwe, the suspension of debate on the Bill means that members will resume the debate at an appropriate time.

Songwe has however expressed satisfaction with the comments his Bill has attracted from the Members and that the inputs will be considered.

“The whole Pension Act in essence, it requires to be repealed, there are a lot of restrictions and provisions which are not making sense and adding value.

“The numerous suggestions that came from the Members on the floor does indeed underscore the fact that the Pension Act has got a lot of areas that need further development, “ recommended Songwe.

Commenting earlier on the Bill, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Blantyre City South Noel Lipipa said there is need for 60 percent adjustment of the Pension.

Said Lipipa: “Individually I supported 70 percent but as a Party we support 60 percent, the only challenge we have is that those that have not retired but they access the 40 percent can actually go back and get the 20 percent.”

“But those that are already receiving their annuities, it will be very difficult because the insurance company has already invested that money for the annuity.”

Further, the Bill seeks to provide for an increase in the amount payable, where the pension or annuity payable in respect for a member of a pension fund, has been commuted into a lamp sum.

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