The Social Security Commission (SSC) says the weakened state of the economy has had a negative impact on its revenues, which heavily rely on companies paying their employee monthly contributions.
This comes amid reports of increased job losses in the Namibian economy, with the Ministry of Labour reporting 236 jobs having been lost from April to the end of June and statistics released by the Employme
nt Equity Commission showing that 36 822 employment contracts were terminated during the 2017/18 financial year.
“SSC’s revenue is directly linked to the performance of the economy. So, the revenue of the Commission has been severely impacted by the current economic slump,” SSC Senior Manager of Communication and Marketing, Unomengi Kauapirura told the Windhoek Observer.
She, however, said the SSC’s strong reserves will be able to cushion the Commission through the turbulent economic period and ensure its sustainability.
“SSC is now obliged to monitor the sustainability of the Funds in light of the falling revenues. We have to monitor developments very carefully and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the sustainability of the Funds. Fortunately, the Commission has strong reserves which we think will help to carry us through these economic hard times. We remain optimistic about the future and therefore believe economic fortunes will change for the better sooner than later,” Kauapirura said.
The SSC spokesperson said to encourage consistency among companies to meet their monthly contributions to the fund, the SSC offers a rebate system to organizations that pay consistently for three years.
“Rebates are paid every three years, the last two cycles were N$1 258 835 paid to 120 employers and N$844 566 respectively to 128 employers,” she said.
Kauapirura said the SSC was currently working on ensuring all funds paid to the Commission were correctly allocated as it was now seating with an undisclosed amount as unlocated funds.
“Employers make payments to the SSC through the electronic transfer of funds and sometimes they fail to insert the right reference details which would help the Commission to identify who paid the money. This makes it difficult for the Commission to allocate the funds to the rightful employer who made the payment,” she said.
On what the SSC was doing to ensure that their members' funds are allocated correctly and to avoid one not qualifying for their benefits when the time comes, she said, “ the depositors must provide sufficient information, e.g. SSC registration number, identify where the money comes from and which account needs to be credited. SSC has undertaken stakeholder engagements to educate the employers about this risk and we are also engaging the banks to urge them not to accept deposits if certain fields are not properly completed. We would be grateful if banks can perhaps also assist with the education of their internet banking users.”
Quizzed on the fate of the funds that remain unallocated, Kauapirura said, “If the depositors do not come forward and provide the right information, these unallocated funds are written off to the reserves. This will become free income for the SSC if people don’t come forward to claim what is rightfully theirs. The person who thinks he/she has a rightful claim to those funds, has to contact the SSC as soon as he/she becomes aware that his/her account is not credited and has sufficient proof that the money came from him/her. The Commission will write off this if nobody comes forward to show that the money is theirs. However, even if he/she comes much later, at any point in time, with the right information, the credit will be given.”