Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS) Board of Trustees has called on Public Servants who are just about to retire to in good time satisfy the requirements as indicated in the retirement letter they receive prior to their retirement to facilitate efficient release of their pensions.
Speaking during a sensitization forum for Kericho-based Public Servants on matters pensions, the Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS) Board of Trustees Chairperson Mr. Titus Ndambuki expressed concern that a majority of Public Servants delayed in filling in required forms and availing required documents in time resulting in delay of release of the pension.
He said the pension payment was a process and if the Public Servants followed the due process early enough, they would receive their pensions within a period of 90 days after retirement.
“We have had complains from Public Servants concerning delays of release of their pensions. But if the beneficiaries promptly started to avail the requirements immediately, they receive the retirement letter, the process would be faster,” said Ndambuki
The Chairperson also assured the Public Servants that their money was safe under the board of trustees which is tasked with the mandate of collecting, remitting and investing contributions, which benefits all members through Return on Investment.
“We are managing your money well by investing in government securities such as treasury bonds and treasury bills. We will explore other investment options in due time since we have already done our investment policy statement to guide on investment options, and before any investment the board has to approve,” added Ndambuki
During the sensitization forum at the Kericho County Commissioner’s boardroom, he also mentioned that PSSS operations were under the close watch of the National Treasury and the Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA) to ensure the retirement savings accounts are well maintained.
“Every year we are supposed to share information in regards to contributions made by the members and that can be accessed online through the ghris portal,” said Ndambuki
The Public Servants covered in the PSSS include Civil Servants, Teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission and the Disciplined Services that include the National Police Service, Prisons Service and National Youth Service.
According to the Retirement Benefits Act, the PSSS is a defined contribution scheme where the government and the employees contribute to the scheme to fund the retirement benefits of the employee and contributions are paid into the Fund established and managed under the Act.
The forum sensitized participants on employees’ contributions rate that they are required to contribute 7.5 percent of their monthly basic salary while the government contributes 15 percent of their monthly salary and employees can also opt to make additional voluntary contributions to the scheme above the mandatory 7.5 percent of their basic salary.
“The contribution is deducted from the salary before tax is calculated and therefore members can enjoy tax benefits to a maximum of the lesser of Sh 20,000 or 30 percent of pensionable emoluments,” explained Ndambuki
The Public Servants at the forum were also informed that the Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 provides for a member to access up-to 40 percent subject to a maximum of Sh.7 million of accumulated contributions to purchase a residential house.
Among the objectives of retirement schemes include, stabilizing financial wellbeing of retirees, providing financial protection to members’ dependants on death in service and alleviating old age poverty.
By Kibe Mburu