By Nation Reporter
A RIFT has erupted between Barclays Bank and its former employees with the pensioners describing their packages as ridiculous and a total fraud which they will not entertain because their former employer was taking them for granted.
But Barclays Bank-Zambia Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations Mato Shimabale said the computation of pensions due to individual pensioners were performed by an independent third party appointed by the Trustees of the Pension Fund and that the basis and formula for the computations are as set out in the Fund’s Trust Deed and Rules.
Chairperson for the pensioners Lennox Nyangu said the 600 pensioners will not accept manoeuvres from Barclays to steal from them by robbing them of their entitlement.
Mr. Nyangu said Barclays should not take its former employees for granted because they were only demanding what belonged to them and that it was wrong for the financial institution to start playing hide and seek games as though it was doing them a favour when they had worked for their money.
He said what they expected was to be given statements that reflected a tabulation of figures containing their entitlements and not the block figures they were asked to sign for because they were pregnant with unjustified irregularities.
“These statements we are asked to sign for are a total farce because they do not contain any calculations to show how they arrived at the block figures they are giving us. The fact that they have hidden the calculations and have subjected us to junior officials who do not have answers to our queries shows that they know what they have done.
“For us, this is a total mess and we are not going to accept it. We are former bank employees and we understand what is supposed to be in a financial statement and not these fake documents. If they think they can fix us by going against the court’s decision, then let them wait and see because the battle has just begun,” Mr. Nyangu said.
But when contacted for a comment, Mr. Shimabale said a team from the Pension Fund Administrator, Aon Zambia Pension Fund Administrators Ltd was on hand to help with the explanation of the statements, including the amounts reflected in the pensioners’ statements.
He said the computations and pension statements were being explained on an individual, one-on-one basis as these were personal to each pensioner and that The trust had not refused to pay each pensioner but that it had taken long for some of them to get their dues because they disputed and refused to be paid and had waited for the issue which was in court to be settled.
“It is actually the Fund that pays the pensioners their pension benefits due. The Fund has neither refused to pay the pensioners their pensions due nor refused to pay the pensioners for a long time, as alleged. In fact, the Fund has been paying the pension benefits to those pensioners who qualified and chose to be paid.
“Pensioners who disputed their amounts opted to wait for the outcome of the litigation before the Supreme Court who ruled that the pension should be paid in accordance with the Trust Deed and Rules. In order to comply with this order, this is the exercise currently underway at Mulungushi International Conference Centre. The Fund and the Bank remains committed to pay the pensioners their benefits due in accordance with the judgment and the Trust Deed and Rules,” Mr. Shimabale said.