LAPF in $40m+ pension arrears
THE Local Authorities Pensions Fund (LAPF) owes more than $40 million in unpaid pensions and benefits to its members, it has emerged.
LAPF was established as a self administered defined benefit scheme and 45 local authorities contribute to the fund. In a letter dated August 30, 2016 written to Sengweni Legal Practitioners, LAPF chief executive Mr Charles Mandizvidza attributed the arrears to non-remittance of pensions by local authority members.
Sengweni Legal Practitioners is representing the 146 retrenched Ingwebu Breweries’ workers who claim to be owed more than $7 million in backdated pay and retrenchment packages in which the lowest paid individual is being owed about $39 000.
The ex-workers allege that they are owed their pensions, back pay and overtime for the period 2009-2012 and retrenchment packages.
“The fund’s (LAPF) cash flows are extremely constrained resulting in incapacity to meet obligations on time. This is as a result of subscribing member local authorities failing to remit contributions to the fund,” said Mr Mandizvidza.
“We presently have over $40 million in unpaid pension benefits and we do not anticipate an improvement in the short term.”
Ingwebu ex-workers earlier this year made headlines when they camped at the brewery’s plant in Belmont. They have since decided to approach the Harare High Court, under whose jurisdiction LAPF falls, to instigate proceedings against their former employer.
LAPF membership as at April 30, 2016 stood at 30 000 (roughly 20 000 serving members and 10 000 pensioners).
The fund has assets worth over $200 million before impairment of receivables of which contribution debtors are a substantial amount.
In 2014 LAPF lost about $1 million in a scam involving a Kingdom Bank employee and two accountants from pensions fund. The Local Authorities Pension Fund allegedly suffered a prejudice of $926 371. — @BiancaMlilo