How Does Zambia’s Pension Scheme Work

In Zambia, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) plays a crucial role in providing income security to workers upon retirement, invalidity, and death. Established in 2000 under the National Pension Scheme Act No.40 of 1996, NAPSA is responsible for registering employees and employers, collecting contributions, enforcing compliance, investing funds, and paying benefits to its members.

In this post, we will give you a rundown of Zambia’s pension scheme, exploring who is eligible for NAPSA registration, how workers can register, the contribution rates, payment methods, benefits offered by NAPSA, and much more.

Who is Eligible for NAPSA Registration?

To ensure comprehensive coverage, NAPSA membership is open to all workers in Zambia aged between 18 and 65 years. This includes employees on contract or permanent terms, part-time workers, casual employees, non-Zambian employees engaged by local institutions, domestic workers, and public service workers.

However, certain individuals are exempted from NAPSA membership. This includes workers aged 55 years and above, those earning below K15.00, members of the armed forces (excluding civilians engaged in the Zambian Armed Forces), and non-Zambians employed by international organizations or those with diplomatic status.

Employers falling under various categories, such as the Government of Zambia, local authorities, statutory bodies, NGOs, international organizations, SMEs employing Zambian citizens, individuals and households employing domestic workers, and any other individuals or institutions contracting others for labor provision, are also eligible for NAPSA registration.

Registering as a NAPSA Member

NAPSA provides convenient options for workers to register as members. The registration process can be completed online through the eNAPSA portal or NAPSA Mobile App. Employers are responsible for registering their employees, while individuals in the informal sector or self-employed can register themselves on these platforms.

To register on the eNAPSA portal, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the eNAPSA portal and log in as a Super User.
  2. Click on the “Account Management” tab and select “Employee Management.”
  3. Fill out the online registration form and submit the application.
  4. Upon approval, NAPSA’s system will send an SMS with the member’s Super User login credentials, including the account number, login ID, and password.
  5. Registered users can then login and remit contributions online.

Alternatively, individuals can access and fill out registration forms at the nearest NAPSA office.

Understanding NAPSA Contribution Rates

NAPSA contributions are based on a percentage of an employee’s monthly gross income. Currently, the contribution rate stands at 10%, with the employee contributing 5% and the employer matching the remaining 5%. It’s important to note that the employee’s gross monthly earnings are subject to the prevailing contribution ceiling, which is revised annually.

For example, in 2023, NAPSA’s contribution ceiling is set at a maximum monthly deductible employee contribution of K1,342.00. Employers are required to match this amount, resulting in a maximum monthly payable statutory contribution of K2,684.00.

Payment Methods for NAPSA Contributions

NAPSA offers two payment channels for remitting contributions: over-the-counter and electronic payments using mobile money and online banking platforms. Employers are responsible for deducting and remitting their employees’ contributions alongside monthly returns within 10 days of the calendar month to which the earnings relate.

Self-employed individuals have the option to contribute using mobile money (USSD code *677#) or through a NAPSA Agent.

Checking NAPSA Contributions

Members can easily check their NAPSA statements or contributions by dialing the USSD code *677#. However, it’s important to ensure that the phone number used is registered with NAPSA.

Employers, on the other hand, can check their company statements using the eNAPSA online platform.

Penalties for Non or Late Payment of NAPSA Contributions

NAPSA takes non or late payment of contributions seriously. Employers who fail to remit contributions on time may face a cumulative penalty of 10%. It is crucial for employers to fulfill their obligations promptly to avoid any penalties.

Recommended Article: Understanding Nigeria’s Pension Scheme Key Benefits and Features

Understanding NAPSA Benefits

NAPSA offers three primary benefits to its members: retirement benefits, invalidity benefits, and survivor’s benefits. Additionally, a funeral grant is provided to assist with the costs of a member’s funeral. Let’s explore each of these benefits in detail:

  1. Retirement Benefits: Members who have reached the retirement age of 55 to 65 years and have made at least 180 months of contributions are eligible for retirement benefits. Those with less than 180 months of contributions are eligible for a Retirement Lump sum.
  2. Invalidity Benefits: Registered members who become incapacitated and are unable to engage in gainful employment due to illness or injury may be eligible for invalidity benefits. To qualify for the Invalidity Pension, a member must have at least 60 months of contributions, with 12 of those contributions made within 36 months of becoming invalid. Those with less than 12 months of contributions within 6 months or less than 60 months of contributions are eligible for the Invalidity Lump sum.
  3. Survivor’s Benefits: If a registered member passes away, the spouse(s) and children are eligible to receive survivor’s benefits. This includes the Survivor’s Lump Sum. If a retirement or invalidity pensioner dies, their spouse(s) and children may receive a Survivor’s Pension. In the absence of a spouse or children, the appointed administrator is eligible for a survivor’s lump sum.
  4. Funeral Grant: A funeral grant is provided to assist with the costs of the member’s funeral. To be eligible, the deceased member must have made at least 12 monthly contributions during the last 36 months of their life. Even eligible invalidity or retirement pensioners are entitled to the funeral grant, regardless of their contribution.

Calculating NAPSA Benefits in Zambia

NAPSA benefits are calculated based on various components, depending on the type of benefit. Here is a summary of how different benefits are calculated:

  1. Normal Retirement and Survivor’s Pension Benefits: These benefits are calculated based on the member’s salary and replacement rate.
  2. Lump Sum Benefits: Lump sum benefits are determined by considering the total employee and employer contributions, the index amount, and the interest amount.
  3. Early Retirement Pension Benefits: Early retirement pension benefits take into account the member’s salary, replacement rate, and the number of months between early retirement and the attainment of normal retirement.
  4. Invalidity Pension Benefits: The calculation of invalidity pension benefits involves the member’s salary, the number of years lost from work due to invalidity, and the maximum and minimum monthly pensions.

It’s important to note that NAPSA pensions are adjusted annually to align with changes in the National Average Earnings (NAE) due to wage inflation.

The Lowest Pension Paid by NAPSA

NAPSA guarantees a minimum monthly retirement or invalidity pension payment each year. This minimum pension is set at 20% of the National Average Earnings (NAE) applicable in the year of retirement or invalidity.

Timelines for Receiving NAPSA Benefits

Upon filing a claim and ensuring that all records are complete, NAPSA aims to settle benefits within 21 days. Members can file claims at the nearest NAPSA office and follow up on the status of their claims during this period.


Understanding Zambia’s pension scheme is crucial for all workers and employers in the country. NAPSA plays a vital role in ensuring income security upon retirement, invalidity, and death. By registering with NAPSA, contributing regularly, and staying informed about the benefits and processes, individuals can secure their financial future and enjoy a comfortable retirement.

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