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CENTRAL AFRICAN FEDERATION PENSIONS

BACKGROUND

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (to give its formal title) was created by the British Government in 1953, covering the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.  The Federal Government was given responsibility to recruit and appoint its own civil servants.  Some were drawn from the three existing territorial governments, in many cases being transferred with their work to serve the Federal Government.  Others were recruited direct.  The Federal Government established its own pension scheme for its officials.  The Federation was dissolved by the British Government on 31 December 1963.  The Central African Pension Fund became administered by trustees, and was supposedly “guaranteed” by the three African governments and the British Government. The administering Trustee is now the Crown Agents Ltd, at St Nicholas House, St Nicholas Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1EL.

SAFEGUARDING THE PENSION FUND

In 2009 the Pension Fund was in deficit.  The three African Governments declined to honour the agreements made in 1963 whereby all four Governments would contribute additional money if required.  In 2010 the British Government agreed to make a payment to the Fund of £3.3 million, to include the amounts that should have been paid by the other governments.  This was intended to ensure that pension payments at the existing level would be continued for all remaining pensioners for their lifetime.

However, by July 2015, the Fund was in deficit again.  In response to OSPA's enquiry the Crown Agents, as the Trustee, have said that they intend to discuss with the British Government some possible long-term solutions in the near future.

NO PENSION INCREASES

There has been no pension increase for the pensioners since 1997.  This affects those pensioners who were not HMOCS members who were transferred with their work to Federal service.  OSPA raised this issue with the British Government in 2010, but it became clear that the original agreement setting up the Pension Fund made no provision for pension increases.  It was left to the Trustee to manage the funds as they would judge to be in the best interests of the pensioners under the Scheme rules and with the agreement of the guarantors or sponsors.  Increases in the past have been paid when the Fund's valuation allowed.  But there is no established practice of granting increases.

August 2017