Parliament yesterday authorised the crafting and tabling of two separate Private Member’s Bills to facilitate amendments to the Pensions Act and the Financial Services Act.
The authorisation follows debate on two separate private member’s motions tabled in Parliament yesterday seeking authorisation of the tabling of the two Bills.
Member of Parliament for Likoma and Chizumulu islands Ashems Songwe (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) tabled a motion to allow him to come up with a private members Bill.
In the motion, he proposes a Pensions Act amendment seeking to, among other issues, lessen the time employee’s wait to access their funds from six months to three months after losing employment.
The other amendments pertains to ensuring workers receive 70 percent instead of 40 percent of their pension funds upon retiring.
Songwe said: “There has been a lot of outcry on this Act from so many people, both pensioners and serving employees appealing for a critical review and possible amendment of the current Pension Act.”
He said it was worrying that while pension funds in excess
of K1 trillion were lying idle with pension managers, the beneficiaries of the fund are struggling and not allowed access to their money when they so desperately need it to make meaningful investments while they are still in their prime age.
On another hand, Dowa West legislator Abel Kayembe (MCP) moved a motion to introduce interest rates capping in the country in response to public concerns that banks are charging interest rates exorbitantly.
The motion introduces amendments to the Financial Services Act for purposes of regulating interest rates charged on loans and setting a limit of total interest payable on principal of loans for the mutual benefits of customers, banks and government.
While declaring that the issue was sensitive to the economy, Kayembe called for thorough consultation on the interest rates capping proposal to ensure there is a balance between the interest of consumers and the players in the financial market.
Both sides of the House supported the two motions and the authorisation of the tabling of the two Bills in coming days.