By Anna Shilongo
Government pensioners have been awarded a 7.5 percent increment on their monthly allowances with effect from April 28, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), announced over the weekend.
According to the institution’s Corporate Communication and Public Relations Manager, Elvis Nashilongo, the increment is in line with the worsening global economic outlook seen in high oil and fuel prices as well as high interest rates.
Nashilongo said the institution’s board of trustees maintained its strategy of targeting inflation-linked pension increases.
He was hopeful that the decision taken to increase the pensioners’ allowances would help moderate the impact of the current negative economic constraints on the goods and services as well as the general living conditions of pensioners.
“The annual inflation trend has been on the increase and as consumer price index reciprocates, our pensioners feel the pinch. It is for this reason that we today granted them an increment on their monthly allowance,” explained the corporate communication manager.
This is, however, not the first time the institution is increasing its members’ allowances, as it has been common practice since the establishment of the institution.
The institution has committed itself to a policy of paying pensioners beyond the inflation rate.
To date GIPF has recorded a 24.5 percent average annual return over the past five years.
Average annual return for the past five years
In 2000 pensioners’ allowances increased by 8.0 percent, 2001 pensioners received an increment of 11.0 percent and in 2002 they received 28.7 percent, while in 2003 they were granted an increase of 8.3 percent.
In 2004 the institution once again increased pensioners’ funds with 7.5 percent, the same applies to 2005 and in 2006 when they were granted 7.0 percent, while in 2007 they had an increment of 7.5 percent.
However, the increment is determined by the country’s economic trend.
Inflation is likely to increase due to the high fuel prices.