The Public Service Commission (PSC) has given civil servants until the end of this month to register for the $75 million Government Employees Mutual Savings (GEMS) loan fund.
Civil servants interested in the scheme are required to register at their respective ministries, which will then submit lists to the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) for deductions that will commence in March.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, PSC secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said members will now register first as opposed to the initial option whereby deductions were made across the board, with those not interested opting out later. Said Wutawunashe:
We have directed ministries to have their members fill in the forms and the SSB will then deduct the funds after the list has been compiled.
Initially, we had proposed to have the money deducted and opt out later.
However, we are now saying they should register by filling in forms, which we think will take time.
So we have given members until the end of February and early March, with deductions set to begin in March.
This means that the deductions of 2.5 per cent of gross salary are being done on a voluntary basis.
A concessionary lending rate of 10% per annum has been set, with the expectation that lending thresholds will range between that rate and 15% per annum.
This will depend on the actual amount applied and the desired repayment period.