NPPF: To ensure social security at old age, especially for retirees who have long served the country, the National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) has initiated a Lotedh (trust) scheme to benefit pensioners and their family members in deaths.
With 4,800 retirees under NPPF’s pension scheme, it was observed that most retirees are among the first group of citizens who received modern education and directly participated in the development process from the early 60s with more than 30 years of service to the nation.
With a long-term vision for public servants and in keeping with the changing social circumstances and rising cost of living, the NPPF, as a part of corporate social responsibility, initiated the scheme.
The scheme involves deducting Nu 250 from monthly pension payment of the member, of which Nu 125 is paid as insurance premium to the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan covering life insurance of Nu 50,000.
The remaining Nu 125 is saved with the NPPF for semso of Nu 50,000 to the family of a deceased member. In all, a member is eligible for Nu 100,000 from RICBL and NPPF together on their death.
The interim chairperson and the former health secretary, Nima Wangdi said the scheme is anticipating more members because its not limited to retirees from the top level. “Any pensioner with NPPF including armed forces and low grade civil servants are eligible to join,” he said.
NPPF officials said the board of trustees has been formed among the retirees to enhance social integration. “It would function more like a support group in old age,” said an official from NPPF.
One of the members, former secretary of Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC) Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, said such a forum would secure the souls of senior citizens and boost their spirit of existence.
An NPPF official said there were instances in the past where retirees had no support and were left on their own. He said that this system would be made efficient such that semsos would be granted within 24 hours from the nearest NPPF branch office on production of death certificates.
“Usually, RICBL has stringent norms when it comes to life insurance of citizen above 60, but they have considered this scheme despite the business risk,” said an NPPF official.
However, the scheme is only available to those who have retired before July last year and hereafter every retiree would be given the option to join this scheme or not.
The interim chairperson said as and when time permits, the members would formally elect a chairperson and the board of trustees, just like the annual general meeting of a company.
In its first month of launch, there was one death and the NPPF provided the semso of Nu 50,000 to the family member towards his first and only contribution of Nu 250.
“This is the wisdom of organising such social protection through the mechanism of fraternity with modern financial products,” the NPPF official said.
By Tshering Dorji