The Association of NASSIT Pensioners have called on the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo, to intervene and help get the National Social Security and Insurance Trust, NASSIT, to increase their pension, which they said had not been increased in the last five years.
At a meeting with the Minister at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Freetown on Tuesday, 10th August, 2021, members of the association tendered their unreserved dissatisfaction over what they termed as “unfair treatment” by the NASSIT board and management.
The Association read and presented two working papers to the effect, plus, a copy of their constitution.
In one of the documents titled ‘Appeal for Pension Increment to Existing NASSIT Pensioners’, it is alleged that the Trust lacked any policy on pension indexation. The pensioners also referred to the Trust Scheme as a “center of frustration for pensioners.”
The pensioners submitted that pensions should be indexed annually because inflation had gone up over one hundred percent since the last time pensions were increased. They further demanded a fifty percent minimum increase in all pension amounts.
According to the National President of the Association, Foday Sadique Fofanah, they were soliciting the assistance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security through the Minister because the Ministry is the supervisory body and parent of NASSIT.
The working papers clearly outlined the association’s numerous complaints, plea for increment, justification and points of intervention for the Ministry.
In response, Minister Timbo assured the pensioners that he would go through the documents that they had presented to him and act accordingly. “Inasmuch as you all are fighting for an increment, please do not also forget to bear in mind that NASSIT is struggling as most of its contributors are not fulfilling their obligations,” Mr. Timbo said. He added that it was also important to look into whether or not NASSIT was getting its contributions frequently, because “that is how it will pay benefits bountifully.”
“We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the scheme runs properly, he furthered. He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that things improved in terms of pensions “because even I am now a pensioner.”