Constitutional office holders will now start contributing to their pension at a rate of 12 percent of total emoluments, Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has disclosed.
He said this follows Cabinet’s approval of the establishment of a Leaders Contributory Pension Fund for the Republican President and other constitutional office holders.
Mr Kambwili said the decision was arrived at during a special second Cabinet meeting held on Monday at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
He said Cabinet decided that there will be a defined benefit scheme, under which a formula to calculate the benefits would be used;
Mr Kambwili, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said Government’s contribution would be made at a rate to be recommended from time to time by Government.
He said the contribution period would be in line with the period of service and that the indexation rate would be equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Mr Kambwili said there would be an option to commute 20 pension of the total pension; and accrued Rights to be maintained, for those serving under the existing terms and conditions, who will have an option to either join the new scheme or remain with the current conditions.
Mr Kambwili said this entailed that they could either transfer their gratuity into the scheme or they can choose to remain on gratuity until the end of the contract.
He said the contributory fund would cover the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Justice, Judges, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament, Secretary to the Cabinet, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Attorney General, Auditor General and Solicitor General.
Others are Secretary to the Treasury, Special Assistants to the President, Investigator General, and Director for Public Prosecution, Director General Anti-Corruption Commission, Commissioner Drug Enforcement Commission, Permanent Secretaries, Defence and Service chiefs, chief xecutive officers of grant aided Institutions and Directors on contract, as indicated in the report attached to the memorandum.
And Mr Kambwili said Cabinet has revised the taxation regime for mining operations saying that the review would help sustain the continuous operations of the existing mining companies and would prevent continuation of suspension of mining operations and job losses.
He said Cabinet approved the proposed tax measures which were aimed at sustaining operations in the mining industry, securing jobs for the citizens as well as collecting more tax revenue in times of relatively high copper prices.
Mr Kambwili said specific measures to be introduced were as follows; varied mineral royalty rate for copper based on the prevailing copper price, flat mineral royalty rate of five (5) percent for other base metals, industrial minerals and energy minerals; and flat mineral royalty rate of six (6) percent for precious metals and gemstones.
Cabinet also approved the suspension of 10 percent export duty on ores and concentrates for which there were no processing facilities in Zambia and to remove the variable profit tax on income from mining operations but maintain the corporate income tax at 30 percent.
Mr Kambwili said the review in the taxation regime was deemed necessary to sustain continuous operation of existing mining companies and avert the continuation of suspension of mining operations and job losses.