The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has introduced a compulsory and contributory Funeral Assistance Scheme, with effect 1st January 2016. The funeral benefit for each employee extends one spouse and six biological or legally adopted children up to the age of 21 years. Madison Life Insurance Company Zambia Ltd (MLife) is the appointed Scheme Administrator.
1. SCHEME OBJECTIVES
The Objective of this scheme is to provide;
- Funeral benefits to public service employees, their spouses and biological/ legally adopted children up to the age of 21 years
- Provide stated benefits to employees upon separation from employers
- Provide enhanced funeral director services through the use of appointed funeral parlours
All GRZ employees are eligible for membership of the Scheme whether on contract or on permanent basis.
There are three (3) types of benefits under the Scheme as numerated below:
3.1 Funeral Assistance Benefits
Funeral Assistance is the main benefit from the scheme for employees. In addition, upon death of an employee (Principal Member), a living Allowance is payable every month for three months to the surviving family. The applicable funeral benefit and living allowance is based on the salary scale of an employee (Principal Member) as shown below:
|Benefit Category||Employee (K)||Spouse (K)||Child (K)|
Only persons employed by the Government of the Republic of Zambia are eligible to be part of this scheme. (Government associated institutions may be allowed to become members of the scheme).
Living Allowance to Surviving Family
When a Principal Member dies, a 3 months Living Allowance will be paid to the surviving family as follows:
|Super scale||K 1, 250.00||per month|
|Division I||K 1, 000.00||per month|
|Division II||K 750.00||per month|
|Division III||K 500.00||per month|
Option for Funeral Benefits Payment;
1.Payment of 100% lump sum cash of the funeral assistance benefit entitlement to the claimant.
2.Payment to Funeral Parlour for services to be obtained and balance of entitlement in cash to claimant.
3.Payment of 100% benefit entitlement to Funeral Parlour for services to be obtained.
Note:Each Principal member is restricted to one spouse and a maximum of six Children. Married Couples if employed by Government are entitled to their benefits individually in their own rights
(3.2) Disability Benefit -Employee (Principal Member only)
If an employee (Principal Member) is certified by a panel of qualified Doctors recognised by GRZ to be permanently disabled whilst in service, the employee (Principal Member) will be entitled to a Disability Benefits of:
- 50% of funeral benefit entitlement depending on the employee Salary Scale.
- Plus 50% of total contributions if the employee (Principal Member) has been in the scheme for more than two years.
(3.3) Separation of Benefits
(a) Early Separation- Employee (Principal Member only)
If an employee (Principal Member) separates from GRZ before normal retirement age for whatever reason and has been on the scheme for a minimum period of two years, the employee (Principal Member) will be entitled to:
- 50% of employee and employer contributions.
Note: No benefits are payable if an employee (Principal Member) has been in the scheme for less than two years.
(b) At Normal Retirement -Employee (Principal Member only)
Upon an employee (Principal Member) attaining normal retirement age and retiring from employment, the retired member will be entitled to:
- 10% of funeral benefit entitlement depending on the employee’s salary scale.
- 50% of total (employee and employer) contributions provided that the employee has served for more than two (2) years in the scheme.
- An employee (Principal Member) with less than two years in the Scheme will ONLY qualify for 10% of the funeral benefit entitlement.
(c) Post Retirement Benefits –Employee (Principal Member only)
When an employee (Principal Member) attains normal retirement age and leaves employment, one may opt not to be paid the retirement benefit and instead continue being a member of the Scheme until death without remitting any further contributions. In this case, applicable as at point of retirement. However, benefit entitlement to family members ceases at time of retirement.
4. SCHEME CONTRIBUTIONS
The scheme will be funded on a monthly basis as follows:
- GRZ will contribute 0.6% of employee’s basic monthly salary.
- The employee will contribute 0.4% of his/ her basic monthly salary.
5. CLAIMS HANDLING
Claims on this scheme will be settled with 24hours upon submission of a fully documented claim.
5.1 Claim Requirements
For a claim to be settled, certified copies of either of the following supporting documents are required:
- Medical Certificate of cause of death OR Death Certificate + NRCs of Deceased Member and NRC of Claimant OR
- Police Report /B.I.D, Burial Permit + NRCs of Member and the deceased OR
- B.I.D accompanied with Burial Permit + NRCs of Member and the deceased OR
- Written confirmation of the death by either:-
Chief or Village Headman or District Commissioner + NRC of Member and the deceased
5.2 Claims Procedure
(a)Claimant will inform GRZ Focal Point Officer and submit all required supporting documents.
(b)GRZ Focal Point Officer will complete the claim form and submit together with supporting documents electronically to MLife.
(c) MLife will settle the claim within 48 hours using the claimant’s selected payment option.
(d)MLife to confirm payment to GRZ Focal Point Officer and Claimant.
6. GRIEVANCE HANDLING PROCEDURE
The under listed points form the procedure to be followed in an event of a grievance:
- Members who are aggrieved will visit MLife offices or call or send SMS to the MLife toll free number which will be directed to the 24/7 MLife Call Centre.
- The facility at the Call Centre will immediately log the complaint into the electronic Complaints Register and which will generate a complaints number to be sent back to the member with advice on how the complaint will be handled.
- Aggrieved member may also in person launch a complaint at the nearest office, where the complaint will be entered in the register. If the complaint can be attended to will immediately be attended to at that office.
- If the complaint needs Head office attention, the complaint will be escalated to Head office to the attention of the Chief Executive Officer.
- The maximum period a complaint need to be resolved will be tabulated in a table taking into account the complication an urgency of the matter.
- The response can be in writing through SMS, Email, Phone call or letter.