STRUCTURE & CORE FUNCTIONS

SOCIAL SECURITY DEPARTMENT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Social Security?
What is the importance of social security?
How is the coverage of Social Security in Zambia?
Can social security be extended to those in the informal sector?.
What is the social security system in Zambia?
What are the benefits that the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) offers?
Who is eligible for the benefits?
What happens to the benefits of those who were contributing to the Zambia National Provident Fund before it became the National Pension Scheme Authority?
Under the Public Service Pension Fund what is the level of calculation for the benefit?
Under the Workers Compensation Fund, when is one entitled to a lump-sum payment and life pension?
Can those who are permanently disabled commute their monthly pension?
In an event where you contribute to a pension scheme and you are injured and start getting a monthly pension from the Workers Compensation Fund, are you entitled to get your pension from the other pension scheme you contribute?
Why invest in a pension scheme?
What is the procedure of coming up with a pension scheme?
When a company has an in-house pension scheme and it closes down what happens to the pension that the employees were contributing do they get their pension money?
When you reign from a company and you were contributing to an occupational pension scheme and the national pension scheme what happens to your pension?
What is the difference between Public Pension Schemes and private pension schemes?
Do private Pension schemes have a legislation to govern them to state the rate of contributions for employers and employees?
Should people with in-house schemes contribute to the National Pension Scheme (NAPSA)?
What category of occupational pension schemes does the Ministry approve and which ones does the Pensions Insurance Authority approve?
When expatriates come to work in this country can their pension benefits be transferred between countries?
Who regulates the pension schemes?

 


 

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a fundamental human right recognised in numerous instruments, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a fair Globalisation (2008) adopted by the International Labour Conference. Social Security thus refers to all cash and in kind social transfers that are organised by the state or statutory bodies or are agreed through collective bargaining. Benefits include cash transfers such as pensions, employment injury benefits, short term cash benefits (sickness, maternity and unemployment benefits) as well as benefits in kind such as health care.

 

What is the importance of social security?

It protects individuals and families against income insecurity that cause poverty, maintains income during and after employment, provide health income and benefits to families and it is an important component of human development.

 

How is the coverage of Social Security in Zambia?

Social Security in Zambia is confined to the formal sector leaving the larger population in the informal sector excluded from social security coverage.

 

Can social security be extended to those in the informal sector?

Social Security is not just for those in formal sector. Informal sector workers in whatever category be it farmers, marketers and bus drivers can come together and put up their resources (money) together and share risks when they occur, these risks could be health costs, funeral costs or pension. Further the government in consultation with other stakeholders is exploring ways to extend social security coverage to various categories of the informal sector.

 

What is the social security system in Zambia?

The social security system in Zambia is predominantly of the social insurance model limited to the provision of protection against loss of income due to old age, leading to retirement, disability and death of the breadwinner. The system is made up of three statutory pension schemes providing for income replacement upon retirement, disability and survivorship and one work injury scheme providing employment injury protection.There are also a number of private and occupational pension schemes set up by employers.   

 

What are the benefits that the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) offers?

There are four benefits that the scheme provides namely retirement pension, invalidity pension, survivors’ pension and a funeral grant. The retirement pension, invalidity pension and survivors’ pension are paid to individuals who meet the minimum criteria for those benefits. Individuals who do not meet the minimum requirements are entitled to a refund of all the contributions credited to their account with interest in the form of a lump sum.

 

Who is eligible for the benefits?

To be eligible for a monthly pension, the member should have made at least 180 contributions to the scheme as from 1st February 2000; otherwise, the member will be entitled to a lump sum refund of his/her contributions. Members who were 39 years old or above by 1st February 2000, are required to make a minimum of 60 contributions to qualify for a pension.

 

What happens to the benefits of those who were contributing to the Zambia National Provident Fund before it became the National Pension Scheme Authority?

On 1st February 2000 all members of the Zambia National Provident Fund were automatically transferred to the National Pension Scheme. However the accumulated balance under the provident fund shall be maintained and withdrawn under the Zambia National Provident Fund conditions. Furthermore with the exception of those on the sliding scale, members shall be allowed to convert their balance under the Zambia National Provident Fund so as to improve their pension and the rate of conversion shall be 1 year in Zambian National Provident Fund equivalent to 3 months of contributions under the National Pension Scheme Authority.

 

Under the Public Service Pension Fund what is the level of calculation for the benefit?

Calculation of the benefit is based on the last annual salary multiplied by the years of service divided by 660 (previously 720). Two thirds of the pension is converted into a lump sum and one third is what is given as monthly pension.

 

Under the Workers Compensation Fund, when is one entitled to a lump-sum payment and life pension?

The lump sum type of compensation is paid to disabled workers for partial disabilities of 10% and below while the life pension type is paid monthly to disabled workers for permanent disabilities above 10%.

 

Can those who are permanently disabled commute their monthly pension?

Permanent disabled workers in receipt of a monthly pension are granted part or total commutation of their pension for purposes of venturing into business or purchasing property.

 

In an event where you contribute to a pension scheme and you are injured and start getting a monthly pension from the Workers Compensation Fund, are you entitled to get your pension from the other pension scheme you contribute?

You are entitled to get other benefits from other pension schemes if you meet the eligibility criteria. For example, if you are already getting a monthly pension form Workers Compensation and you have been 180 contributions to NAPSA or you have reached 55 years old, you are entitled to a retirement benefit from NAPSA.

 

Why invest in a pension scheme?

Pension schemes are very important; they help you save money regularly throughout your working life so that you will have a reasonable income during retirement. Pension Schemes can also pay out substantial benefits should you die at any age.

 

What is the procedure of coming up with a pension scheme?

In order for a pension scheme to be approved, the following documents need to be submitted; Trust Deeds for all schemes, copy of a certificate of registration from the Pensions and Insurance Authority and approval letters from the Zambia Revenue Authority.

 

When a company has an in-house pension scheme and it closes down what happens to the pension that the employees were contributing do they get their pension money?

An in-house pension need to be registered with either the Pensions Insurance Authority or the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for it to exist and it is run by fund managers so when the company closes down the employees can still get their pension from the fund managers.

 

When you reign from a company and you were contributing to an occupational pension scheme and the national pension scheme what happens to your pension?

When one resigns you get your monthly contributions if you were contributing to an occupational scheme after resignation, however if you are contributing to the national pension scheme you have to wait until you attain the age of 55 or you have made 180 monthly contributions.

 

What is the difference between Public Pension Schemes and private pension schemes?

Public Pension Schemes which are referred to as statutory or mandatory are schemes that are created by an act of parliament whose membership is mandatory. Private pension Schemes also known as in-house or occupational pension schemes are normally voluntary schemes.

 

Do private Pension schemes have a legislation to govern them to state the rate of contributions for employers and employees?

There is the pension scheme regulation act which governs the pension schemes however, there is no stipulated rate in the Act

 

Should people with in-house schemes contribute to the National Pension Scheme (NAPSA)?

Yes, because the National Pension Scheme is mandatory 

 

What category of occupational pension schemes does the Ministry approve and which ones does the Pensions Insurance Authority approve?

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security approves occupational pension schemes with category of workers who are not represented by unions and whose conditions of service are not governed by collective agreements. The Pensions and Insurance Authority approves occupational pension schemes with category of workers who are unionized and whose condition of service is covered by collective agreements.

 

When expatriates come to work in this country can their pension benefits be transferred between countries?

There are no provisions for transfer of pension rights between countries.

 

Who regulates the pension schemes?

Currently in Zambia there are a number of pieces of legislation namely the National Pension Scheme Act and the Pension Scheme Regulation Act the LASF and PSPF Acts. The National Pension Scheme Act establishes the National Pension Scheme Authority, a body that is responsible for the implementation of policy relating to the scheme in accordance with the Act. The National Pension Scheme Authority is regulated by the governing legislation and is supervised by the ministry responsible for Labour and Social Security. Local Authorities Superannuation Act is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Public Service Pension Fund is under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President. The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) administers the Pension Scheme Regulation Act and therefore regulates and supervises all pension schemes in the country except for the National Pension Scheme Authority.

 

 

 

 


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The Social Security Department is headed by a Director and has two functional Sections, each supervised by a Principal Social Security Officer.  

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Ministry of Labour and Social Security, New Government Complex, Independence Avenue, P.O. Box 32186, Lusaka, Zambia. Tel: +260-211-221432, Fax: +260-211-225169, Web-Site: www.mlss.gov.zm, E-Mail: mlss@mlss.gov.zm

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Statutory Instrument (SI) - The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act. Click below to view detailed SI documentation.