IPEC Warns Insurers Against Graft


Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) has cautioned stakeholders in the insurance and pensions sector to desist from accepting bribes under the pretext of gifts and other items of value.

The insurance and pension funds regulator yesterday released a draft circular codenamed “standards for the pensions industry on payment and receipt of gifts and other items of value”, which seeks to guide and whip into track wayward elements within the pensions industry.

In the circular IPEC Commissioner of Insurance, Pension and Provident Funds Dr Grace Muradzikwa said the issuance of the circular precedes observations of disreputable behaviour observed by the commission as it carried out its regulatory and supervisory functions in the industry, thus necessitating the reprimand by the industry administrator in order to instil rationality in areas pertaining to offer and receipt of gifts in the sector.

According to the report, IPEC possesses powers to disqualify trustees, principal officers that behave waywardly as determined by the commission.

The report which endeavours to promote uprightness in the sector implored the trustees, principal officers, and fund administrators to hold themselves in high esteem and acknowledge the responsibility that comes with their positions as stipulated by “Statutory instrument 323 of 1991 and amended versions of statutory 80 of 2017 and 91 of 2020.

“The commission has noted a practice where funds or individual trustees receive gifts or monetary incentives from service providers, including fund administrators paying inducements or bribes under the banner of retention.

Such conduct is unethical and impacts negatively on the levels of integrity and credibility of the processes that result in the identification and appointment of service providers.

“…regulation requires that every trustee, principal officer, and fund administrator be a fit and proper person with due regard to his or her experience, conscientiousness and integrity to be entrusted with the responsibilities of the office, as such the referred persons should avoid conflict of interests in all dealings on matters of the fund,” said Dr Muradzikwa.

In the circular, the IPEC commissioner indicated that the circular had a window period of up to December 15, for comments and input.

IPEC in the report defined a gift as, “means or property of whatsoever nature and any benefit, direct or indirect, which has a financial value, but does not include agreed remuneration for services to the fund.”

The circular was directed to address members of the Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds (ZAPF), Life offices Association of Zimbabwe (LOA), Insurance Brokers Association of Zimbabwe (IBAZ), pension fund administrators, self-administered pension funds, standalone pension funds and Actuarial Society of Zimbabwe.

In relation to IPEC, “the gifts policy should be lodged with the commission, shall define the circumstances under which the entity offers and accepts gifts”.The Herald

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