The Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) has disclosed that the institution has increased the pension benefits of all its beneficiaries to a minimum of L$2,640 monthly as of November 2015.
This increment, according to NASSCORP Director General Dewitt vonBallmoos, will affect a total of 3,675 pensioners of the Government of Liberia whose previous pension benefit entitlement was below the poverty index level suggested by LISGIS of US$1 per day.
He made the disclosure Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia.
VonBallmoos noted that the increment now augments the 3,675 pensioners’ payment to US$360 or L$31,680 per year.
According to vonBallmoos, a monthly payment of L$2,640 is made by the 15th of every month through direct bank transfer with every banking institution in the country to all 3,675 government pensioners.
The NASSCORP Director General further disclosed that despite the spillover of the Ebola crisis into 2015, the corporation achieved 96.2 percent of its contribution target during the first quarter of this year.
According to vonBallmoos, enrollment has increased consistently during the last five years at an average of 15 percent, resulting to a 10 percent annual increase in the corporation’s revenues.
“We are proud to note that gross receipts or revenues for January to September 30, 2015 amounted to US$23.7 million and to report a cumulative enrollment of 141,879 insured persons with a beneficiary list of 7,889 persons,” he said.
Speaking further at the news conference, the NASSCORP boss also revealed that plans are underway to establish coverage for officials of the Government of Liberia.
The plan, according to NASSCORP Director General Dewitt vonBallmoos, will cover cabinet members, members of the Legislature, Judiciary as well as police and paramilitary personnel.
Mr. vonBallmoos said the move is part of a number of reform measures that would make the corporation more serviceable to its enrollees.
According to him, the corporation also plans to make adjustment in contribution rate, rationalize a criterion for adjustment and retirement age vis-a-vis life expectancy and provision of adequate benefits.
“It is the corporation’s plan to extend coverage to every working Liberian both in the formal and informal sectors,” he pointed out.
vonBallmoos added that a number of studies are also being undertaken to evaluate and propose an alternative to capturing workers in the informal sector.
Meanwhile, vonBallmoos has disclosed that in fulfillment of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), they cooperated with the Paynesville City administration to fund the ELWA Junction Beautification Project and the construction of the Duport Road Park.
The NASSCORP also provided a total of US$2.5 million to the National Housing Authority (NHA) to construct low income housing estates in Jatondo Town, Brewerville, which, he said, have been almost completed and ready for use, he disclosed.
According to him, the corporation’s CSR policy is intended to intervene and identify with other national agenda and priorities when necessary, targeting areas such as literacy, adult and primary education, safe drinking water, sanitation, economic empowerment, among others.
“As we continue to move ahead with our objective of creating a first class social security system for the nation, we must first underscore the importance of government prioritizing and supporting the reforms we anticipated,” he said.
In a related development, Mr. vonBallmoos, has also disclosed plans by the corporation to construct a US$8 million modern diagnostic medical lab in Paynesville to perform a range of specialized procedures.
The medical lab will include CT Scan, MRI Scan, Ultra Sound, Mammogram, Digital Imaging and DNA Testing, vonBallmoos said Thursday at the Ministry of Information press conference.
According to him, NASSCORP is in consultation with the Ministry of Health and the Liberia Medical and Dental Council on the construction of the state-of- the-art medical facility.
Meanwhile, vonBallmoos has stressed the importance of the use of Information Technology (IT) in the administration of both the National Pension Scheme (NPS) for retirees and the Employment injury Scheme (EIS) for employment related injury.
He said the entity has completed the initial phase of automation of its core business function management of the contributions and payment of benefits.
The automation began with the installation of a state-of- the- art, customized IT infrastructure and environment comprising of hardware, software and network with a fiber-optic backbone to support more than one hundred end-users and devices, he noted.
He also disclosed that a custom developed software suite supporting employee registration, contribution management, premium payments and payment of pension and injury benefits has been deployed and is fully functional.
The Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), Dewitt vonBallmoos, has disclosed that the entity’s current bank balance stands at over US$$30 million.
He observed that this represents a significant increase in the corporation’s bank balance as the entity’s balance in February 2006 stood at US$$645,000 and L$5 million.
Making the disclosure at the Ministry of Information regular press conference in Monrovia Thursday, vonBallmoos attributed the booming bank balance of the entity to the completion of numerous real estate investments, including the NASSCORP House now occupied by the Liberia Revenue Authority at ELWA Junction,
The NASSCORP bossl also named the Buchanan Complex currently being leased by steel giant Arcelor Mittal, the Voinjama and Kakata Guest Houses under lease to international NGO’s and the ongoing construction of the NASSCORP new Administrative Building in Sinkor, among others, as key investments that have led to the entity’s rising bank balance.
VonBallmoos also disclosed that NASSCORP inherited a backlog of over US$4.4 million belonging to pensioners, but that through the initiation of aggressive policies, NASSCORP has experienced a cardinal growth in the investment portfolio from US$4.4 million in 2006 to US$33.1 million in 2015.
“This Portfolio constitutes various investments in Real Estate, Equities and Fixed Income Deposits and other Financial Assets,” vonBallmoos noted.
The NASSCORP boss believes that the corporation is one of the most significant institutions in the nation not only because of its finance generation capacity, but because it prioritizes the welfare of citizens who contribute labor and finances to the growth of the nation.
Established in 1975 by an Act of the National Legislature, NASSCORP has
over the years provided support and relief to employed persons in times of need through the Employment Injury Scheme (EIS), the National Pension Scheme (NPS) and the Welfare Scheme (WS).