By Enock Balakasi
State Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) and his United Transformational Movement (UTM) has promised to increase retirement age from 60 to 65 if ushered into power during the May 21 2019 Tripartite Election.
Chilima made the promise during whistle-stop meetings held in Lilongwe on Friday. Among other areas, the veep visited Ngwangwa, Chidalanda, Kafutwe, Nambuma and Chimwaza Trading Centers.
He said the increase in retirement age will ensure that people fully contribute to the country’s development.
“We need to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 years. We need to put everyone over 65 years of age on pension,” he said.
State vice-president also pledged to introduce a Universal social pensions scheme for all Malawians aged 65 years and above. He observed that many older people are living pathetic lives with costs of goods and other expenses are rocketing and promised that his administration will ensure they supplement their income with a government old age grant.
A universal pension in Malawi would support older people to live their later years in dignity.
UTM leader said scheme would cater for every person regardless of whether they were employed or not provided he/she is Malawian.
Evidence from other countries in the region shows that older people are better able to take charge of their lives, and participate in family and community decisions.
Chilima cited countries such as Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa are doing the old-age scheme.
The current pension system is contributory and also has a limited scope to provide security for most Malawians.
State Vice-President has retaliated plans to create one million jobs, increase teachers’ salaries and make Parliament the appointing authority of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general and other important positions, in the first year if ushered into power in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chilima has been drawing huge crowds during his rallies since he dumped the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) months ago and formed his United Transformation Movement (UTM).
Since the formation of the movement, UTM has roped in various political giants such as Speaker Richard Msowoya and several legislators including Lucius Banda. The movement has so far been launched in almost all regions of the country.