With an increase in the cost of living, promoting financial and pension literacy has become one of the Government Institutions Pension Fund’s (GIPF) strategic objectives to ensure the Fund’s members are well informed about their pension benefits and are well equipped to make decisions that will result in them living a comfortable life after retirement.
It is against this background that the GIPF has embarked upon a robust member education outreach programme to the Oshikoto and the Ohangwena regions. The member education and outreach, which commences on the 13th of June, is expected to end on 28 June 2022. The programme will primarily focus on reaching members in very remote areas. The outreach programme will start in the Tsintsabis settlement and nearby villages such as Ondera and Ombili in Oshikoto and it will end in the Omboloka and Omuuni settlements of the Ohangwena region. Members are thus encouraged to look at the Fund’s social media platforms as well as tune into Kati and Shipi FM radios for more detailed member outreach programmes for daily updates on dates, times and venues of the sessions in the above-mentioned regions.
The information to be shared during these outreach sessions will be on the rules and benefits of the Fund. Moreover, presentations on benefits will mainly focus on the beneficiary nomination forms and admissions to the Fund. The GIPF believes that a knowledgeable member is an informed member and as such, member education is an integral part of our operations and hence the importance of reaching out to our members in remote areas. Members are encouraged to be on the lookout for the GIPF mobile truck.
Through member education, the Fund complies with good governance principles as well as acceptable standards in pension fund management. GIPF has close to 101 762 active members who are serving in government and participating employers and over 39 504 annuitants in the form of pensioners, spouses, and orphans. In this context, the Fund has an obligation to ensure that its products and services are well understood by its members.
This enhances the GIPF’s ability to improve its turnaround times in timeous benefit payouts, which is at the core of GIPF’s mandate. Furthermore, members have to know their rights and responsibilities and know what they are entitled to. It has become evident that members-only apply their minds to their pension when they need to claim and that’s only when essential documents are submitted, resulting in a delay in benefit claims.
These negative experiences and delays are avoidable if members appraise themselves of their benefits and the required benefit claim procedures from the onset. It is with this in mind that the Fund has scheduled further outreach sessions during July and August to the Kavango East and Zambezi regions. Details to these sessions will be communicated in due course.