Pensions inquiry report ready for release

A COMMISSION of Inquiry report on the process used to convert pensions and insurance benefits following the adoption of a multi-currency system in February 2009 is ready for release, an official said yesterday.

In 2015, President Mugabe set up a Commission of Inquiry led by Retired judge Justice George Smith to probe the conversion process used in converting pensions and insurance benefits following the dollarisation of the economy.

The commission was set up following widespread concerns by pensioners that their pensions and insurance benefits were undervalued during the changeover from the Zimbabwe dollar to the multicurrency system.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Rtd Judge Justice Smith said his commission was preparing a report due for release in the next few weeks.

“We are preparing a report which must be ready in the next few weeks,” he said before hanging up.

The nine-member commission was set up in terms of Section 2 of the Commissions Act, which provides that the President may, when he considers it advisable, by proclamation appoint a Commission of Inquiry consisting one or more commissioners.

As part of its major tasks, apart from producing the report, the commission is expected to establish fully the total value of pensions, as at December 31, 2006 and as at March 31, 2009.

The commission would, among other duties, establish the value of old generation pension funds and the newer generation pension funds as of December 31, 2006 and March 31, 2009 and to establish an objective criteria for the delineation of old generation pension and newer generation pensions in both instances.

The commission was also expected to identify appropriate criteria for assessing whether any pension fund members or insurance policy holders have been prejudiced and to establish the extent of the prejudice if any.

In compiling the report, the commission examined data from more than 20 insurance firms, 15 brokerages, self-administered pension funds, the Public Service Pension Fund, the National Social Security Authority Pension Fund and other benefits schemes.

During the investigation process, in some instances, the commission experienced dogged resistances from companies that were reluctant to submit the required data.–chronicle