Close to 500 pensioners have registered for the Lotedh (Semso) Scheme, which was launched on July 1, 2015 as a tribute to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo by the national provident and pension fund
Five members have passed away since then and benefits were paid from the Nu 800,000 fund accumulated so far.
The primary objective of the Lotedh Scheme is to provide semso to the immediate family members during the demise of the registered Lotedh Scheme member.
“This was an initiative of the Dasho Penjore when he was CEO of NPPF,” said the Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Lotedh Scheme Dasho Nima Wangdi.
Pensioners from civil service, corporate sector and armed forces can voluntarily join the scheme, which functions similar to a group of insurance scheme. Members contribute Nu.250 a month that is automatically deducted by NPPF from the monthly pension and deposited to the Schemes account.
Fifty percent of a members’ contribution, Nu 125, is deposited with RICBL and a benefit of Nu 50,000 is paid out by RICBL on the demise of a member within 24 hours to meet exigencies on the receipt of claims and proper verification.
The scheme retains the 50% of the contribution, which is also utilized to pay honorarium to NPPF employees who provide secretarial and accounting service for the Scheme.
A Board of Trustees manages the scheme and comprises seven members representing Lotedh Scheme members and NPPF management members.
The chairman of the Board of Trustees said they discussed the possibility of registering as a Civil Society Organisation (CSO). However, he pointed out that the registration as a CSO requires a registered office, a secretariat, among other formalities, which would mean more expenditure against their limited income source. “We are still studying the benefits of registering or even wether as per the CSO Act we are required to register by Law,” said the chairman.
The long term goal of the Scheme is to see the possibility of providing any further financial benefits and if possible provide a forum for members to get together and share their knowledge, skills, ideas, and other fruitful activities.
“As time passes more employees will be retiring every year and we hope many of them will join us so that the scheme can be even more vibrant and outreaching,” said the chairman.
The Lotedh Scheme reinforces the vision of the fourth Druk Gyalpo, who always asserted the need for a strong social protection system to prevent old age poverty by enhancing retirement benefits of civil and public servants.