Malawi bank charges irk pensioners: ‘Revert to paying through Treasury Cashier’

Public Service Pensioners Association (PUSEPA) has called for government’s consideration to revert to paying pensioners through Treasury Cashiers (TCs)and not the current bank accounts.

The development comes at a time when the Pensioners Association will be conducting its 17th Annual General Conference on Friday this week where delegates will elect new National Executive Committee members including president.

Pusepa Secretary General, Clement Kasunda said that the association members are unhappy with bank fees deducted from their ‘ low’ pension money by some banks in addition to other negative repercussions on the members’ incomes.

“It takes up to four days for some of our members to access pensions from banks and Post Offices unlike in the past when the money was paid through TCs,” lamented Kasunda.

Elderly: Pension problems

He said most pensioners complain of long distances to banking facilities that force them to incur unnecessary bank expenses.

Said Kasunda, “Most banks are located at the district headquarters and big trading centers that are far away from where the pensioners reside, forcing them to spend a lot on travel expenses.”

Kasunda said this year’s Annual General Conference (AGM) will provide delegates with an opportunity to lobby government on issues affecting pensioners including amending their constitution to allow the association have other means of generating income.

“Currently, the association banks its funding on the one percent monthly pension deductions which is not sufficient but with the other supplementary means, we should be able to operate appropriately,” explained Kasonda.

Pusepa was established in July 1995 with the aim of addressing challenges of pensioners.

Malawi’s late president Bungu Wa Muntharika directed last year that all civil servants be paid through banks in a bid to clamp down on fraudsters in government departments who defraud government money through creation of ghost workers on the pay role.

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