By Own Correspondent
MOST Zimbabwean banks are now exempting the country’s lowly paid pensioners from paying bank charges fearing that they may have nothing left to fend for their families after the main expenses, a recent survey by My Wage Zimbabwe has revealed.
According to the survey carried out across sectors in Zimbabwe, monthly pensions currently range from US$10 – US$100 per month.
“Pension payments range from US$700 - US$800 for the one third commutation paid as a lump sum. In February 2009, following the switch to multi-currencies, pension and life funds started converting policies to United States dollars. The prices arbitrarily reduced the balance on accounts to values less than US$100, regardless of how long each policy had run
“So low are the monthly payouts that banks are currently exempting pensioners earning US$25 per month from paying service charges,” the research said in part.
My Wage blames endless currency reforms and different phases of hyperinflation for the current demise affecting the country’s working class.
“Monthly pension payouts are so low as to be worthless. They cannot cover living expenses when one considers that the monthly budget for a family of six is now calculated at US$502,53.
“Many have a continuous struggle to make ends meet. What should have been a secure, peaceful and hard-earned end to their working life, with sufficient funds to guarantee financial freedom, has instead become a situation of either constant worry about where the next meal is going to come from, or of humiliation and loss of dignity in relying upon family for support,” the survey said.
My Wage says with the sharp rise in the cost of food and living in general, normal survival has become a pipe dream for the country’s pensioners.
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