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PS: No plan to ban withdrawal benefit

15th December 2012
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Eric Shitindi

Ministry of Labour and Employment Permanent Secretary has warned against rumours that the government plans to put a ban on the withdrawal benefit provided by pension funds.

Eric Shitindi said people spreading the false story should stop it because by doing so they unnecessarily worry the workers.

The PS was addressing the 4th National Social Security Fund (NSSF) mining employers’ forum on Thursday.

The meeting drew employers’ representatives from 50 firms across Tanzania. “This is baseless…I urge the employers to tell people the truth of the matter …we’ve no such intention.

“Recently there were rumours that the government was planning a ban on people who want to pull out from the funds before their retirement age,” he said.

He added: “People should ignore such rumours propagated by people with bad intentions.”

“This is just propaganda because people are aware that mining is an important sector to the country’s economy.”

Employers should take deliberate efforts to ensure employees undergo regular medical check-ups. “This is an important area on which you employers need to work.”

On his part NSSF Director of Operation, Crescentius Magori said the fund would be paying withdrawal benefits under the pension scheme to an ensured person who opts under the system.

“…But we advise members not to withdraw while working as it may increase their risk of destitution during old ages…” he said.

He however noted that the idea of the meeting, which was attended by more than 50 companies from across Tanzania, was to get a platform to exchange views on their challenges and come up with solutions.

In April this year Parliament amended the Social Security Laws (Amendments) Bill, 2012, which among other things, barred members of various social security funds from claiming their contributions until they reach retirement age.

But the decision soon sparked public outrage prompting the government, mid this year during the parliamentary budget meeting, to make promise to bring to Parliament a Bill rectifying the state of affairs.

In October this year the government issued a statement to reinstate the withdrawal benefit until a special Bill is drafted and tabled in Parliament to make amendments.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN