Finance Minister tables Pension Funds’ Amendment Bill

WINDHOEK: Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila tabled the Pension Funds’ Amendment Bill yesterday, aimed at authorising pension funds to grant loans and provide guarantees for members to acquire homes in communal areas.

The Pension Funds’ Act in its current form only makes provision for home loans in respect of houses situated in urban areas.

In presenting the Bill for discussion, she reminded her fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) that the country is currently faced with an acute shortage of houses, especially for the poorer segments of the population due to the high costs of housing and restricted access to finance.

She said in an effort to address this situation, Government has scaled-up resources to housing development under the budget.

In addition, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, Government has as an employer initiated additional measures to improve access to housing for civil servants through the amendment of the Government Institutions’ Pension Fund (GIPF) rules.

Some of these initiatives are that GIPF is now granting loans and providing guarantees to its members to acquire homes.

This, she pointed out, is beside the home acquisition scheme through which the State subsidises home loans for its employees.