, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – The Association of Retirement Benefits Schemes (ARBS) now wants the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) reformed before the president signs the NSSF 2013 Bill into law.
ARBS Council Secretary William Maara says that the investments at NSSF are wanting; pointing out that the security fund does not comply with the retirements benefits law.
“Our stand remains that NSSF must comply substantially with the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) Regulations before it can be entrusted with management of increased contributors’ monies” he said.
He said that the assets handled by NSSF are not with the Asset Manages according to the RBA regulations.
“When you look at the investments that have been propagated by NSSF in the past they are wanting. NSSF has not given its members a return investment of more than five percent,” he said.
ARBS was categorical that the management and administration of contributors’ retirement benefits savings be segregated from NSSF’s other social security activities and subjected to appropriate controls and audit.
Maara asked RBA with a selected panel of experts to oversee the implementation of the recently passed NSSF Bill 2013, before effecting the proposed transformation and substantial increase in employee contributions, to ensure that past irregularities that have dogged NSSF do not recur.
“The high standards set in the Constitution 2010 must be the guiding principle in establishing the Board of Trustees and in its operation and oversight. We believe that the composition, competence and commitment of the Board of Trustees of NSSF are the crucial ingredients in equipping NSSF to perform satisfactorily its important role,” he said.
He further stated that ARBS is firmly in favour of the principles and goals underlying NSSF Bill 2013.
He said that ARBS will continue to encourage the passage of amendments to the Retirement Benefits Act and Regulations to permit effective opt out provisions are put in place.
He said that with the opt out provisions, NSSF and private sector schemes will operate side by side in a vibrant retirement benefits sector to deliver good value to workers.
Maara noted that prior to the passage of the bill by the National Assembly, ARBS had put forward key proposals both to the NSSF, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Parliamentary Committee but these recommendations had not been fully adopted.
“Our stand remains that NSSF must comply substantially with the RBA Regulations before it can be entrusted with management of increased contributors’ monies,” he added.
Key among ARBS’ recommendations include stringent corrective measures to recover losses due to mismanagement of investments, and putting in place policies, procedures and controls to ensure that irregularities cannot recur as witnessed in NSSF’s financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2011, audited by the Auditor General.
The association noted that the passage of the NSSF Bill 2013 should not be interpreted as closing the door to further improvements in the Bill and related legislation and particularly in the operation and governance of NSSF.