Eba Kandovazu

A TOTAL 15 162 retired pensioners will no longer have access to the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) benefits following its after they failed to contribute to the fund and re-apply for medical aid at retirement.

Ministry of Finance Spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu, has announced saying PSEMAS membership verification project revealed the non-contribution. According to him, the pensioners have been benefiting from the medical aid scheme since their retirement. The Public Services Staff rule on public service employees medical aid scheme stipulates that members apply for the medical aid scheme 90 days after retirement or risk fortfeiture of such rights. The same rule also stipulates that a member fortfeits her/his rights if found to be in arrears for three months.

“It was further established that a segment of these retirees withdrew their full pension benefits. It is required that contribution for PSEMAS should be deducted from pension benefits monthly. The ministry has thus resolved to terminate the medical aid of the affected members on September 2021,”the statement reads.

The ministry also says that it is consulting key stakeholders to see if there is a possibility of deviating from the staff rules.

“The ministry urges staff members in the public service, especially those nearing the age of retirement, to acquaint themselves with the staff rules and regulations on the PSEMAS to avoid fortfeiting their medical aid benefits,” the statement says.