WINDHOEK: A petition seeking to change the rules of the Government Institutions’ Pension Fund (GIPF) to make room for members to benefit from its surpluses, is in circulation for signatures.
Adeline Black, who is the chairperson of the Committee of Public Servants, told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday that members are not benefitting fully in terms of loans from the fund while they are still employed.
“Loans are available for members at a rate of 16 per cent, which is too high for members,” said Black, adding that the GIPF is dishing out loans to companies, while its members are starving.
On public servants seeking membership on the GIPF board, Black said it should change to achieve equal representation between Government, as the employer, and its employees contributing to the fund.
Such a change is long overdue, according to Black.
“We want consultations to take place regarding the operations of the GIPF. Currently, the members are kept in the dark and are not informed about the decisions taken,” she noted.
The committee feels that GIPF does not belong to the government or trade unions, and therefore, members of the fund need direct representation on the GIPF board.
She added that this will ensure accountability, and funds will be well managed and distributed.
According to Black, this will also prevent money from getting lost through “scandalous, shady dealings”.
The committee is also pursuing an investigation into the GIPF investments, in which well-connected individuals allegedly squandered millions of Namibian dollars.
Earlier this month, the committee, in a letter addressed to the Namibia Financial Institutions’ Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), lamented input by the GIPF on amendments to the country’s pension fund legislation, without pension fund members even being aware of it.
Black complained that although three members from recognised bargaining unions are on the GIPF board, they never consulted or gave feedback to the GIPF members.
She said approximately 90 000 GIPF members are not even represented by the two unions.