by Bevan Musoko
The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) subsidiary, National Building Society has come up with a strategy to ease the plight of pensioners who are usually faced with challenges of accessing cash when their pensions become due.
The NBS has set up Pension Payment Centres (PPC) which are exclusively dedicated to availing cash to pensioners during their pay days.
The bank has set up the PPCs in Harare, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi and Mutare. These centres are dedicated to serving pensioners only. This decision followed a realisation by the financial institution that pensioners, most of whom are based in rural areas, were getting a raw deal in accessing cash. Prior to the arrangement, most pensioners would spend many days and nights camped at banks waiting for cash. This was untenable due to their old ages and in some cases, their health conditions.
A pensioner who spoke to this reporter, Tonderai Mhasvi, praised NBS for the initiative, saying it had made their lives easy. “I am now assured of accessing my money when it gets through. I, however, call upon authorities to protect us from cash dealers who are picketing these centres to cheat us of our money”, said Mhasvi, who had come from Goromonzi.
Following the development, the NBS’ pensioner clients have tremendously increased. According to sources at the NBS, over 20 000 pensioners are now receiving their pensions through the Society. This increase is against the fact that the NBS is financially supported by the cash rich NSSA.
The Society has plans to increase the number and spread of the PPCs to cater for the whole country.