Outdated acts must be reformed: Ithete

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration Natangwe Ithete has emphasised the need to review and change Acts to suit current narratives.

Speaking on Monday at the opening of the Consultative and Oversight Workshop on the Financial Institutions and Markets Act (FIMA) taking place in Swakopmund, Ithete said there is nothing wrong with replacing Acts that no more serve a purpose.

Ithete was making reference to among others; the FIMA clause on pension preservation, which requires members to preserve 75 per cent of the minimum withdrawal benefit until age 55, which has sparked public outcry.

Gazetted in 2021, FIMA aimed to replace the outdated Pension Fund Act of 1956, with the aims to reform, consolidate and harmonise the laws that govern non-bank financial institutions, financial intermediaries and financial markets, while addressing flaws identified in the current outdated legislation.

‘We found ourselves sitting with a Pension Fund Act gazetted in 1956, an Act which we realised no longer suited the current economic situation and therefore tabled, discussed and then gazetted FIMA. However, following wide public debate and outcry, particularly on the sections in the Act dealing with preservation of pensions, we embarked on these consultation meetings to express the views of the public, whom we speak on behalf of and represent, hence the continuation of the consultations in Erongo,’ he said.

The workshop brings together representatives from various stakeholders such as the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), finance ministry and pension funds.

The meeting will also provide a platform for members of Parliament and stakeholders to share their views, experiences and recommendations on the proposed pension preservation clause and other provisions of FIMA.

‘Furthermore, stakeholders will also be required to identify risks and challenges associated with the implementation of the FIMA and develop strategies to address them and evaluate the effectiveness of the FIMA in promoting financial stability and protecting the interest of consumers.’

According to Ithete, the outcomes of the three-day workshop will inform the economics committee of the National Assembly of Namibia on the way forward.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency