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GIPF increases disability income

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

The Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) Board of Trustees approved an eight per cent increase for its members receiving a disability income.

GIPF Chief Executive Officer David Nuyoma made the announcement during a media conference on Wednesday.

The increase would be backdated to 01 April 2012 as this category of income was not reviewed last financial year.

GIPF members will also receive a pension increase of 6,5 per cent effective as from 01 April 2013. The pension increase would increase pension liability from N.dollars 8.8 billion to N.dollars 9.4 billion as at 31 March 2013.

“It is important to note that the increase of pension income is granted on the basis of the assessment of the fund’s financial performance as well as in line with the fund’s strategy to protect pensioners’ income from the ravages of inflation. Similarly, the decision of the trustees to award and eight per cent increase on disability income was in correspondence to the average salary increase given to civil servants, following a salary agreement between the Namibia Public Worker's Union (NAPWU) and government,” he explained.

GIPF has a total of 98 304 active members by 2012 compared to 82 205 in 2009. Member pensioners are in total 33 602.

Annuity payments per annum as at 31 March 2012, was more than N.dollars 612 million.

Meanwhile, Nuyoma commended the Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila for the 2013/2014 budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) delivered in February this year.

He noted that, given the size, asset base and the nature of the GIPF‘s mandate, the national budget would always have an influence on its operations.

According to Nuyoma, GIPF‘s views on the recent budget statement is that it would be recorded as one of the most inclusive and well-balanced budget in our history as a country.

Nuyoma said GIPF took note of the generous tax relief measures particularly with regard to the shift of the individual tax threshold from N.dollars 40 000 to N.dollars 50 000.

“This translates into a higher disposable income to the majority of our pensioners that fall into this category. The movements of various tax brackets will introduce new tax relief to a number of citizens including pensioners. Indeed, what we are seeing is the optimization of social welfare, which is our core business as a pension fund,” he stressed.

Another area of interest in the budget is on the Transfer and Stamp Duties, which have been scraped for a low income housing while a reduction of these duties on higher amounts is also been appreciated. There is no doubt that this decision would enhance the fund’s ability to enrich planning for the GIPF housing initiative currently underway. Nuyoma noted that discussions with the relevant stakeholders about the housing initiative are in an advantage stage and on-going.

The reduction of Corporate Income Tax would also stimulate growth of the economy through providing incentives to production as well as attracting foreign investments, according to Nuyoma.

(edited)WINDHOEK; The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) Board of Trustees has approved an eight per cent increase for its members receiving a disability income.

GIPF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Nuyoma made the announcement during a media conference here on Wednesday.

The increase will be backdated to 01 April 2012 as this category of income was not reviewed in the last financial year.

GIPF members will also receive a pension increase of 6,5 per cent effective as from 01 April 2013. The pension increase would increase pension liability from N.dollars 8,8 billion to N.dollars 9,4 billion as at 31 March 2013.

“It is important to note that the increase of pension income is granted on the basis of the assessment of the fund’s financial performance, as well as in line with the fund’s strategy to protect pensioners’ income from the ravages of inflation. Similarly, the decision of the trustees to award an eight per cent increase on disability income was in correspondence to the average salary increase given to civil servants, following a salary agreement between the Namibia Public Worker's Union (NAPWU) and Government,” Nuyoma explained.

GIPF had a total of 98 304 active members by 2012 compared to 82 205 in 2009. Member pensioners are, in total, 33 602.

Annuity payments per annum as at 31 March last year were more than N.dollars 612 million.

Meanwhile, Nuyoma commended the Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila for the 2013/2014 National Budget and Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) delivered in February this year.

He noted that, given the size, asset base and the nature of the GIPF’s mandate, the National Budget would always have an influence on its operations.

According to Nuyoma, GIPF’s views on the recent budget statement is that it would be recorded as one of the most inclusive and well-balanced budgets in Namibia’s history as a country.

He then stated that GIPF took note of the generous tax relief measures, particularly with regards to the shift of the individual tax threshold from N.dollars 40 000 to N.dollars 50 000.

“This translates into a higher disposable income to the majority of our pensioners that fall into this category. The movements of various tax brackets will introduce new tax relief to a number of citizens including pensioners. Indeed, what we are seeing is the optimisation of social welfare, which is our core business as a pension fund,” he stressed.

Another area of interest in the budget is transfer and stamp duties, which have been scrapped for low income housing, while a reduction of these duties on higher amounts is also appreciated, the GIPF CEO said.

“There is no doubt that this decision would enhance the fund’s ability to enrich planning for the GIPF housing initiative currently underway,” Nuyoma noted.

He stated that discussions with the relevant stakeholders about the housing initiative are in an advanced stage and on-going.

The reduction of Corporate Income Tax would also stimulate growth of the economy through providing incentives to production as well as attracting foreign investments, according to Nuyoma.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130404/gipf-increases-disability-income