Workers in the informal sector with inconsistent income will benefit from a new innovative digital pension plan that gives a flexible platform to save for their retirement.
Dubbed ‘MOBIKEZA’, the plan by Octagon Pension Services Limited has an added unique advantage of allowing a contributor to make unlimited deposits and periodic withdrawals via USSD or an app.
MOBIKEZA was developed with the youth, Jua Kali artisans and workers in Micro-Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in mind and has unmatched capability of convenience in on-boarding, tracking and access of funds through the mobile phone with access to three types of investment funds namely; Ustawi Fund (Conservative), Hakika Fund (Guaranteed) and Usawa Fund (Balanced).
“Pension coverage rate in Kenya is significantly low at 20 per cent compared to the 80 per cent coverage that is currently witnessed in the developed economies. To boost this coverage, there is a need to focus on the informal sector who constitute 35-50 per cent of the economy in developing countries such as Kenya,” said Octagon Pension Services Limited CEO, Godwin Simba.
Simba was optimistic that MOBIKEZA would address the needs of the informal sector that require a flexible and affordable product that would show daily, monthly and yearly yields, in turn, boost the saving culture and guarantee a comfortable life after retirement.
“Octagon is committed to growing the Pension Sector coverage by simplifying access and understanding of the pension industry through innovative technology platforms and educating the informal sector on the benefits of saving for retirement, the yields of such investments and how to track your funds,” he added.
The MOBIKEZA is powered by Octagon and anchored under the Octagon Personal Pension Scheme, registered and regulated by the Retirement Benefits Authority. The solution’s platform is integrated with MPESA and the Bank’s platforms.
“The launch of MOBIKEZA is extremely timely with a key focus of increasing penetration of pension. As Retirements Benefits Authority, we are honored to see such great strides by Octagon in targeting a critical mass- the informal sector that comprises of 83 per cent of the total workforce,” said Nzomo Mutuku, Retirement Benefits Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
He added that through such micro-pension innovations, key players such as Octagon are able to convert awareness into enrolment and widen pension coverage in the country.
The CEO added that they have Government support through the Treasury and with support of the World Bank to increase pension penetration.
The Regulator lauded the need for innovation to accommodate the informal sector unlike the current pension plans that were mostly designed to cater to the formal sector in terms of access and contributions amount.
Octagon has invested Sh.10 million in the development of the solution.
Customers can now register and activate MOBIKEZA without the need to visit any physical office or fill out forms. MOBIKEZA can be accessed by dialing USSD code *483*8000# or by downloading the MOBIKEZA app available on Google Play and Apple Stores.
By Hillary Wangila