Former Finance Bank workers demand pension

The case in which more than 360 former Finance Bank Zambia Limited (FBZ) employees have sued their former employer for non-payment of pension was yesterday adjourned to June 6 because the bank has applied to amend its defence.

Finance Bank Zambia Limited yesterday made an application to make amendments to their original defence claiming that while the bank acknowledged the existence of a non-contributory pension scheme meant for its retirees, the fund became defunct after the creation of a second and voluntary pension fund.

But the former Finance Bank Zambia Limited (FNB) employees are demanding their pension which disappeared from Leasing Financial Services Limited, a sister company of Finance Bank more than seven years ago in circumstances that were less than clear.

The former employees of Finance Bank whose chairman is Rajan Mahtani feel they were swindled of their pension and have since sued the bank claiming that they be paid their money.Spokesperson of the former Finance Bank workers Oliver Chambanenge told the Daily Nation the bank had created a non-contributory pension fund which was meant to take care of retirees.Mr Chambanenge said the bank did not pay them at their time of separation and that the pension would have to be paid at the current rate of what was their salary at the time.He said the affected workers were shocked when their benefits were without what had been accumulated to the pension scheme and that they fell the bank deliberately decided to rob them after creating a second pension fund that was voluntary contributory.

Mr Chambanenge said Dr Mahtani, established another company in the name of Leasing Finance Services and transferred their pension to the new company to settle its debt without the knowledge of the workers.He said after the money was moved from the workers’ pension fund at Finance Bank. The money disappeared and that the retirees who left the bank more than seven years ago had not been given their money duly owed to them.Mr Chambanenge said the former workers feel they had lost their money through unscrupulous financial dealings of the Finance Bank.

The former workers have sued Finance Bank and are demanding the full payment of their pension at the current rate.“Finance Bank Zambia Limited established a pension fund for its workers that were non-contributory and all the employees were members of the fund. The bank established a second pension fund that they called voluntary contributory pension scheme and most of the workers objected to the formation of the second fund because they could belong to two schemes at the same time in the same company.“What shocked the workers was that the money from the non-contributory pension fund was secretly transferred to Leasing Financial Services which was a sister company of Finance Bank. The money mysteriously disappeared and when we retired, we discovered that our pension was not party of our benefits and we feel were swindled,” Mr Chambanenge said.