Government Releases K251 Million to LASF

Government Releases K251 Million to LASF
Statement by the Minister of Local Government – 25/09/2019

As you may recall, on 17 th September 2019, I informed Parliament that Government is
aware that Local Authorities Superannuation Fund owes 14,709 retirees. As at 31 st
July 2019, the total bill stood at K555 million. To this effect, I assured the House that
Government was committed to disbursing K251 million towards dismantling of
outstanding retirees and pensioners benefits before the end of September, 2019.

In this respect, I have invited you to inform the nation through you that the
Government of His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic
of Zambia, has released K251 million to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund
(LASF) to pay outstanding pension benefits. The K251million is the second financing
of retirement benefits after Government released K150 million in April 2017.

The Patriotic Front Government is a pro-poor administration and will continue to
embrace policies aimed at alleviating the suffering of its people and has therefore
given priority to paying pensioners. Our Government, as a listening Government, has
not departed from its campaign promises and has now released the funds as we had
promised our retirees.

I wish to state the release of the K251 million demonstrates Government’s resolve and
determination on alleviating the challenges the retirees and pensioners are facing in
order to uplift their welfare. The release will also go a long way in addressing
challenges currently being faced by LASF, especially regarding the dismantling of the
pension benefits and annuities that have been outstanding.
In this regard, I would like to emphasise the fact that the release of these funds does
not absolve local authorities and other member employers that contribute to LASF
from defaulting on remittance of pension contributions. The remittance of pension
contributions should, in fact, be intensified so that LASF should be able to meet its
obligations. As you all know, the remittance of pension contributions is a statutory
requirement and failure to do so is abrogating the law. Government will not tolerate
any local authority or other member employers who deliberately abrogate the law by
failing to remit pension contributions to LASF.

Further, ladies and gentlemen, Government has done its part and it is now up to LASF
to immediately roll out a payment programme for all its pensioners country wide. As
Minister responsible, I will be following the process with a keen eye and expect a
detailed report on the utilisation of the K251 million.
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our retirees and
pensioners, who are our senior citizens, for their patience during the period that they
have not been paid.
To this effect, I wish to inform you and the nation that the Government of His
Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia is
committed to uplifting the welfare of the retirees and pensioners.
Thank you all for your attention.

HONOURABLE DR CHARLES ROMEL BANDA, MP
MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT.