ONGWEDIVA – Since the announcement last week that the monthly old age pension has been increased to N$1 000 from N$600, false information has been circulating on Facebook claiming people younger than 60 are also entitled to the grant.
Villagers have been hoaxed to believe that all people aged 50 and above can register for the N$ 1 000 pension.
The “announcement” to lower the pension age from 60 to 50 was apparently made concurrently with the increment of the pension from N$600 to N$1 000 when the pro-poor, poverty busting budget was tabled in parliament last week.
The bogus announcement drew widespread approval from people aged between 50 and 60, who joined in the chorus of praise of government for addressing the plight of the poor.
However, the Ministry of Finance dismissed the allegation stressing there is no change in the state pension age and that the grant will continue to be paid only to citizens aged 60 and above.
“There is no truth, there was no such announcement. Retirement age remains unchanged,” said the Deputy Permanent Secretary Iden Nashandi.Nashandi related that only those who are 60 and above qualify to receive the pension, or a person duly certified to be living with a disability. Nashandi said the only change made during the budget tabling was the increase in the pension.
He said those who are 50 should continue to work and register when they are 60.According to people older than 50 that New Era spoke to, they were “informed” through the media that they would be receiving pension as from 50 years old, citing that ‘the majority of people’ die before they reach 60.
The pension increment announced last week received positive reviews from many pensioners, many saying they will now be able to sustain themselves and have extra funds available for emergencies.