The retreat hosted by NSSF is aimed at fine-tuning the draft NSSF Bill 2012 set to be tabled in Parliament in coming weeks.
NSSF Managing Trustee Tom Odongo expressed confidence that the engagement with the committee members led by chairperson David Were and other parliamentarians will provide a platform to discuss and evaluate the Bill before its presentation to the National Assembly.
“This weekend’s retreat is indeed one of our last mile efforts towards the tabling and subsequent passing of the NSSF Bill into law and we are glad that parliamentarians will be joining us in Mombasa,” Odongo explained.
He said that if successfully passed, the Bill will facilitate the statutory repealing and replacement of the existing NSSF Act Cap 258.
Odongo said the draft NSSF Bill 2012 will provide the necessary legislative foundation to facilitate efforts geared at converting NSSF from a provident fund into a public mandatory pension security scheme.
“If successfully passed through the pending parliamentary process, the Bill will facilitate the statutory repealing and replacement of the existing NSSF Act Cap 258,” he stated.
Pension benefits outlined in the Bill include: Retirement pension, invalidity pension, funeral grant survivors’ and emigration benefits.
Under its provident fund members’ will enjoy tax-exempt: invalidity, withdrawal, emigration, age, and survivors’ benefits.
The proposed NSSF Bill 2012 seeks to position the fund as a public mandatory pension security scheme covering all employees in the formal sector and a voluntary scheme for the self-employed and workers in the informal sector who wish to make voluntary contributions to the Fund.
“As currently drafted, the NSSF Bill 2012, corporate governance structures will be subject to the regulatory oversight of the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) and will comply with the provisions of the Retirement Benefits Act subject to specific modifications to cater for its unique benefits offering,” he noted.
He said that if it sails through, the NSSF transformation Bill, will also help mobilise national savings as the rates of contribution to the new Pension Fund will be at 12 percent of pensionable earnings (basic earnings) split at a 50:50 ratio, between the employee and employer.
Under the provident fund a member will be eligible for the benefit upon retirement or upon attaining the age of 50 years.
Failure to provide an expanded Social Security product under NSSF in coming years would be tantamount to discrimination for various sectors of the economy that are currently neither covered by NSSF nor by the private schemes.