The Public Service Pensions Fund is a creation of CAP 260 of the Laws of Zambia, Act No. 35 of 1996 which states that it is “an Act to consolidate the law relating to pensions and other benefits for persons employed in the Public Service; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental to such consolidation”. This Act came into effect on 17 March 1997 and established the Public Service Pensions Fund Board to be responsible for pension matters for all pensionable Public Service employees contributing to Public Service Pensions Fund. Payments to members of the Scheme are due upon attaining retirement age (55 years) or death of a member in which case, payment is made to the survivors. Members who exit the scheme through early retirement, on medical grounds, National Interest and deceased cases are paid through the Government. In these cases, the Fund merely facilitates the payment on behalf of the Government as the obligation to pay lies with Government.
Prior to November 1, 1961 , there was no contributory pension scheme for indigenous employees of the public service of the then Northern Rhodesia Government (NRG). At that time, only a small gratuity was paid when such officers retired.
On November 1, 1961 , the Northern Rhodesia Government introduced a contributory pension scheme for pensionable indigenous public servants. It was however not compulsory to join the scheme hence, officers started contributing to the scheme at different times.
In that scheme, the statutory retirement age was 60 years for male officers and 55 for female officers. The scheme also catered for survivors of contributing officers who died before retirement.
In 1968 the Civil Service (Local Condition) Pensions Act was enacted. This was an elaborate piece of legislation, which spelt out in detail the rules of the scheme. The Civil Service (LC) Pensions Fund Board was responsible for administering the Civil Service (LC) Pensions Act (CAP 410), the Defence Act (CAP 131 and 106) and the Teaching Service Act (CAP 231).
A significant development occurred in 1986, when parliament passed Act No. 11 of 1986, which ushered in some major changes in the pension scheme. The Act established the Civil Service (Local Condition) Pensions Fund Board as a body corporate. It also reduced the statutory retirement age to 55 for males and 50 for females. In addition, it permitted officers who had served for 20 years to opt for early retirement and doubled the commutation factors. The doubling of the commutation factors meant that the officers who retired after this amendment received higher lump sums (All other variables being equal).
The Teaching Service and Defence Force were covered by Acts Nos 231 and 131 respectively. In 1987, the Teaching Service Pension Amendment Act No 98 was passed. This Act also established a Board and similarly instruments No 102 of 1988 also established a Board for the Defence Forces. These Acts were consolidated into the Public Service Pensions Act No 35 of 1996.
However, the reality was that the Civil Service (LC) Pension Fund Board performed all the functions of the other two Boards, utilising those services’ respective Acts.
To regularise the situation, in 1996, Act No 35 of the 1996 was passed which established for the Public Service Pensions Fund Board to be responsible for pension matters for all pensionable public service employees contributing to the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF). The Act came into effect on 17th March 1997.
Vision Statement “To be the best public pension scheme dedicated to providing optimum and sustainable benefits to members, retirees, pensioners and beneficiaries”