The social security in Zambia is regulated by a law of 1996, implemented in 2000. It provides for a social insurance program.
The system covers employed persons, including agricultural workers, household workers in urban areas, apprentices and all employees of the national public service and local authorities who began work on or after February 1, 2000. Employees of the national public service and local authorities who began work before February 1, 2000 are covered by a special system. Workers younger than age 16 or older than age 55, workers earning less than 15,000 kwacha (approximately USD 3) a month and armed forces personnel are excluded from the system. Voluntary coverage is available for self-employed persons and for some categories of informal-sector workers.
Funds are contributed by both the insured person and its employer in the following proportions: (i) Insured person: 5% of covered earnings or 10% of covered earnings for voluntary contributors; and (ii) Employer: 5% of covered payroll. The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are equal to four times the national average monthly earnings.
In case of self-employed persons, the contributions are of 10% of covered earnings. The maximum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are equal to four times the national average monthly earnings.
The old-age pension is available at age 55 with at least 180 months of contributions. Early pension is possible at age 50 with at least 180 months of contributions and if the resulting reduced pension is at least equal to the minimum pension. In both cases, retirement from regular employment is necessary. An old-age settlement is paid if the insured person does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for the old-age pension. All old-age benefits are payable abroad only under reciprocal agreement.
The old-age monthly pension is equal to the insured person’s average adjusted monthly earnings multiplied by the number of months of contributions. The minimum monthly pension is equal to 20% of national average monthly earnings and the maximum monthly pension is equal to 40% of the insured’s average adjusted monthly earnings. Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in national average earnings.
In case of early pension, a reduced pension is paid. The minimum monthly early pension is equal to 20% of national average monthly earnings. The old-age settlement consists of a lump sum equal to the total adjusted contributions from the insured and the employer plus accrued interest.
The system is administered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (http://www.mlss.gov.zm), that provides general supervision, and the National Pension Scheme Authority, which administers the program through two regional offices and 22 district offices.
Source:Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2010, available at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2010-2011/asia/index.html