Pensioners annuities up by 10%
Public pensioners will be happy to know that their monthly annuities have been increased by 10 percent. This comes after pensioners have been complaining about their annuities not being increased yet civil servants’ salaries were reviewed and increased last year. The monthly annuities are the monthly ‘salaries’ given to the pensioners, as a result of having invested a portion of salaries they had been earning while they were still working. The decision to increase the pensioners’ annuities is said to have been taken this week, after it was approved by the cabinet.
Public pensioners’ annuities are paid by the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) because they had been investing part of their salaries with the PSPF. This means the fund will now increase the pensioners’ gratuities by 10 per cent. PSPF is under the ministry of public service.
This means it was the public service ministry’s task to respond to the pensioners’ call to increase their annuities.
Minister of Public Service Owen Nxumalo when called by this newspaper only confirmed that the annuities had been increased by 10 per cent. He stated that the decision to increase the annuities was taken this week. Swaziland Public Service Pensioners Association President Patrick Bhembe said he was not aware of the matter.
He said he would therefore, not comment on how they felt about the situation because they had not been formally briefed about the matter.
He did confirm though that all he knew was that something was being done as the matter was being discussed by the relevant authorities. He said they were yet to be formally briefed.
This was one of the thorny issues that had been haunting senior citizens. Whenever pensioners met to discuss their issues, they bitterly complained about being made to swim in debts by government.
They complained that civil servants’ salaries were reviewed last year some were increased by 17 per cent , while those of politicians were increased by 32 per cent. The pensioners’ annuities were only increased by seven per cent, which was actually a cost of living adjustment.
What is painful for them is that nothing was done to review their annuities and that affected them badly because they were severely affected by inflation. The inflation was caused by salary increases and that increased prices of commodities in shops.
Unfortunately, those who did not get their salaries increased were also affected because they had to buy from the shops that had increased their prices. This newspaper report that Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini heard the outcry of the senior citizens and promised them a “late dvuladvula.”
Dlamini is said to have made that promise back in January this year.