Michael Magoronga, Business Correspondent
THE Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) will continue working towards promoting insurance inclusion and pension coverage to ensure all Zimbabweans, regardless of their financial status, are financially included.
Government has embraced financial inclusion as an important priority for fostering socio-economic development.
IPEC recently introduced a framework that ensures non-formal workers are included and covered.
In his keynote speech during the second edition of the Insurance and Pensions Media Awards in Harare recently, IPEC board chair Mr Albert Nduna, said together with fellow financial sector regulators like the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Securities and Exchanges Commission of Zimbabwe, the pensions commission was spearheading the financial inclusion agenda on behalf of Government.
He said their main aim as the insurance sector was to see everyone including low income earners and those with irregular income covered against risk.
“Under the auspices of the Zimbabwe National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2016-2020), we endeavour to have an inclusive financial sector that broadens access to and use of financial services by all.
“With the view of engendering socio-economic development, we are seized with finding lasting solutions to barriers to insurance inclusion and pension coverage to ensure that all Zimbabweans, regardless of their financial status, are financially included,” said Mr Nduna.
He urged players in the insurance and pension industry to remain guided by the ‘treating customers fairly’ principle in their operations despite prevailing economic hardships.
“IPEC acknowledges that macroeconomic stability and predictability of macroeconomic fundamentals are critical for the thriving of the industry.
“While there have been business cycles in the economy over the past two decades, utmost good faith and reasonable expectations remain cardinal principles of insurance and pensions.
“We urge the industry to prioritise Treating Customers Fairly principles in their operations,” said Mr Nduna.
He said the commission was in the process of finalising the development of the Treating Customers Fairly Framework and a Market Disclosure Framework as part of the Zimbabwe Integrated Capital and Risk Project.
“The two will guide the industry in terms of disclosure requirements on treatments of your customers.
“As an industry, you should remember that without your consumers there is no insurance and pension sector to talk about. Insurers are expected to settle claims timeously and pension funds are expected to meet members’ reasonable expectations,” Mr Nduna said.
He reminded the players in the insurance and pensions sector of their important role in attaining vision 2030.
“As an industry, you are expected to contribute significantly towards the attainment of vision 2030.
“One way of doing this is by investing in projects of national importance. While Government may come up with its own projects, you are encouraged to come up with your own projects which can be conferred with Prescribed Asset status and of national interest,” Mr Nduna said.
He also implored the media to help demystify and help articulate pensions and insurance matters that are perceived as complex.
“It is critical for journalists to unpack the seemingly complex issues for better understanding by the public. I would like to urge you to always report objectively and without prejudice to any stakeholder.
“It is important for the media to educate the public that insurance and saving for retirement are still relevant notwithstanding the challenges relating to the operating environment,” Mr Nduna said.
The event saw journalists from different media houses walking away with prizes for their efforts in articulating insurance and pensions’ issues.