SPF is pleased to inform our esteemed Members, imminent approval by the Cabinet of Ministers to changes to Seychelles Pension Fund (Benefits) Regulations 2005.
Amendment of the Seychelles Pension Fund (Benefits) Regulations 2005 covers three elements;
- a minimum pension,
- to provide for the back dating of all pension payments and
- to provide clarity on the interpretation of retirement from work
- Minimum pension
In his Labour Day speech in May 2019, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure, announced the introduction of a minimum pension. This minimum pension aims to ensure that all retirees receiving or who will be qualifying for a monthly pension under SPF, of less than SR 1,000, will benefit from a minimum monthly pension of SR1,000 as of January 2020.
Approval has been granted that Seychelles Pension Fund (Benefits) Regulations 2005 is thus amended to include the provision for a minimum pension of SR 1,000 per month and for the increase to be paid for under the Consolidated Fund. The mechanism for refund from Government to the SPF will be through the SPF submitting monthly invoice to the Ministry responsible for finance to state the amount payable for that particular month and the refund shall be paid to the SPF accordingly
- Backdating the payment of pension
The introduction of back dating payment to the date that the member became entitled to instead of on the application date, is aimed at covering the surviving spouse, retirees and other beneficiaries whom usually claim their entitlement later, for example due to period of grieving. This is provided that the claim is made within a period of up to one year from the date of eligibility.
Seychelles Pension Fund (Benefits) Regulations 2005 is amended to provide for the back dating of pension. This will be applicable retrospectively from the date of the last amendment of the Act in 2018, on advice from the Attorney General’s Office, it would be applicable on the date which the Regulations are enacted
- Clarification of the retirement after 60 years requirements
Under the SPF Act, 2005, the definition for retirement as amended in Act 3 of 2018 is as follows:
“Retirement means the retirement from work at the age of 60 years or at any time thereafter”.
This strict provision of the definition of retirement requires that a member of the SPF completely stops working, for them to apply for their pension. This is not possible for self-employed and there are many in employment who have retired but still continue working and being employed. The implication is that it places additional burden on SPF to ensure that its retirees, receiving monthly pensions, are not working which is not required as we need more Seychellois to work. It also restricts members over 60 years who would like to limit the amount of their occupational activity but still be allowed to do some form of limited work whilst accessing their pension at the same time.
Thus amendment to Seychelles Pension Fund (Benefits) Regulations 2005 clarifies that ‘retirement from work’ is retirement from the age of 60 onwards and from normal or habitual level of occupational activity which the person carried on prior to the person’s retirement, on the assumption that the occupational activity has ceased or has largely ceased.