Pen­sion­ers an­nu­ities up by 10%

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Mbono Md­luli

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.

Task

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.

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