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Citizens urged to join pension schemes to secure life after retirement

Uasin Gishu County Commissioner, Dr. Eddyson Nyale, has called on citizens to join pension schemes to start saving for their future by contributing for retirement benefits.

In a speech read on his behalf by Soy Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Solomon Kiptoo, during the launch of RBA @ Huduma Centre mobile clinic activation in Eldoret, the County Commissioner said pension schemes savings, are very important to beneficiaries’ life when they attain retirement age.

He added that, through pension, the retirees will be able to cater for their family needs and will be better placed to enjoy their social life at old age.

Dr. Nyale encouraged the residents of Uasin Gishu to take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as possible and make informed choices on securing their retirement life.

He lauded the key stakeholders in pension sector, including the regulator Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), National Treasury Pension Department, County Pension Fund (CPF) and other individual pension schemes for their move to educate the residents of Uasin Gishu on the importance of saving for retirement and the options available to start saving.

He decried the current worrying statistics from the pension regulator RBA that revealed that for every 10 working Kenyans, almost 8 of them do not save for retirement.

“Statistics from the Retirement Benefits Authority indicate that pension coverage in Kenya currently stands at 25 percent of the work force. This means that of every 10 working Kenyans, almost eight of them are not saving for retirement,” said Dr. Nyale.

The CC pointed out that it was the right time for residents to learn on how to start saving and secure their sunset years.

“As a government we are keen to ensure our workers do not retire into poverty and I believe saving for retirement is one way to achieve that,” he added.

He recalled on instances where retirees struggle for years before receiving their pension as he noted that the pension regulator together with the National Treasury’s Pension Department and NSSF will put proper measures to address all concerns pertaining access to retirement benefits.

“RBA Huduma clinic is indeed a welcome gesture since all matters pertaining to pensions shall be addressed under one roof. Anyone earning income can join an individual pension scheme from today, I encourage all Uasin Gishu residents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and make informed choices on securing their retirement,” he said.

Dr. Nyale further noted that the schemes also allow civil servants to save for post-retirement medical cover while still in service, adding that those are key developments one should learn about to make informed choices about sustaining oneself in retirement.

The NSSF Branch Manager, Evans Tonui, complained that many Kenyans have been retiring to poverty because of low savings while in employment.

“According to the statistics given, the number of people who are still saving is still low. The only person who will take care of the older you is the younger you, that is why we encourage Kenyans to save while still young, you are also saving for your people when you die, “said Tonui.

Tonui mentioned the new changes in NSSF Act which has seen increased savings from Sh 200 to Sh 2160 and that the Fund has transited from being a provident fund which pays people all the savings upon retirement to pension scheme where a beneficiary will continue earning for the rest of his life.

The Branch Manager noted that NSSF money earns compound interest and is free from tax when one is earning and also when one retires.

He outlined various claim services provided by the fund including the survivors claim which is paid when members die, invalidity which is paid when one becomes sick, age retirement when you attain normal retirement age and other claim when a member is paid when immigrating to another country.

The NSSF also allows an active member to transfer his savings when joining another pension scheme that is recognized by the Retirement Benefits Authority.

By Ekuwam Sylvester

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