Econet Life, an insurance unit of EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe, has launched a micro-pension fund product that enables people in the informal sector to save for retirement.
The new product, called Dura/Isiphala Pension Fund, was launched in Kariba this weekend and is expected to boost the uptake of pensions by informal sector workers.
Speaking at International Cooperative Day celebrations by the Zimbabwe National Cooperative Federation in Kariba, where the product was unveiled, Deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs, Community Development and Small and Medium Enterprises, Jennifer Mhlanga , congratulated Econet Life for the launch of innovative products. that provide ordinary people with affordable products.
“We appreciate you (Econet Life) for your continued support and innovations focused on improving the lives of our SMEs.
“We believe this contribution is part of the government’s efforts to achieve the middle-class economy by 2030,” said the deputy minister.
The International Monetary Fund said 60% of the Zimbabwean workforce works in the informal sector.
Mr. Godwin Mashiri, Managing Director and Principal of Econet Life (Pvt) Ltd, said Dura/Isiphala will rely on smart systems and technologies to ensure broad inclusion of all workers.
“We continue to rethink effective ways to serve our communities. The pension should never be the prerogative of officially employed persons; everyone should have access to equal opportunities that help them live a better life whether they are employed formally or informally,” he said.
Mr. Emmanuel Pfupa, Head of Econet Life Fund Business, said the micro-pension fund will promote inclusive growth in the pension sector by enabling people in the informal sector to open retirement savings accounts which, until now, were only available to sector employees. formal sector.
“With Dura/Isiphala Pension Fund, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, we want to ensure that every employee in the country enjoys a good life after retirement. With this product, anyone can make their monthly contributions to their Dura/Isiphala and when the need arises after a year, two or even 10 years, they will reap the benefits of their investment,” he said. .
Although the informal sector accounts for a large share of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, players in the sector have been largely excluded from financial service offerings.
However, with Dura/Isiphala, people in the informal sector can contribute from 10 USD for their retirement. They will also be able to use the investment as collateral to access short term loans, earn interest and access a portion of their investment after 12 months.
Dura/Isiphala positions Econet Life as the only innovative pension company using technology to drive financial inclusion. The new product is intended to empower SMEs, cooperatives, civil servants and people in formal and informal employment, aged 18 to 70.
Econet Life said registrations and contributions can be made at Econet stores, AFC Bank, Steward Bank or any EcoSure contact point across the country. He added that contributions will soon be payable through the EcoCash FCA wallet.