Tale of an aggrieved pensioner

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THE story of Mr Jacob Gondo (name changed to protect identity), who worked as a sales representative of Claybank Private Hospital, a unit of Premier Service Medical Investments, is shared by many pensioners who are still hurting after being given chump change in the name of pension payouts after years of back-breaking work.

PSMI’s pension funds are currentlty handled by First Mutual Life Assurance.

After spending nearly two decades working for Claybank Hospital, Mr Gondo expected to receive a bumper payout as 8,5 percent of his US$660 salary — about US$52,80 per month — was deducted towards his pension.

But after following up, he discovered that PSMI was not remitting the money to First Mutual. He became suspicious.

What he was told by PSMI when he approached them was nothing short of shocking: only those who had enlisted the support of lawyers had successfully received their payouts.

Mr Gondo was, however, insistent. Then came the bombshell.

While his rough calculations indicated that he might be entitled to an estimated US$15 000, PSMI’s calculations came up with US$4 500.

They claimed Mr Gondo’s contributions had been eroded by hyperinflation.

His follow ups with PSMI executives Mr Kwendamberi, Mr England and Mr Chipadza were fruitless.

What was most disturbing was that the man knew that most pension funds invested in buildings and immovable assets.

“Did the buildings they build got eroded by inflation? I wonder!” he remarks.

To his surprise, he later learnt that his former boss was actually given a smaller payout than himself. (That former boss is now employed as a security guard by the same company.)

Efforts to get a comment from PSMI’s head office in Harare were fruitless at the time of writing.

But for Mr Gondo, what is happening in the insurance industry is clear — someone is cooking figures and prejudicing pensioners.

Unfortunately, it is a story affecting thousands of retired Zimbabweans.

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