The Senate Committee on Education has called on the relevant government bodies to address the challenges facing the payment of pensions for teachers who retired from 1997 to 2007.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Muranga County Senator Joe Nyutu said lack of payment of the fund has affected the welfare of the retired teachers and the many Kenyans who depend on them.
Speaking at KICC on Thursday during the committee deliberations on the matters, Kajiado Senator Seki Lenku Ole Kanar lamented that the government has delayed in addressing the issue while the victims continue to suffer.
Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu said that once a teacher retires, they depend on retirement benefits, and most have died without doing what they had planned because they didn’t receive their pension on time.
“In 1997, the government entered into a binding agreement with KUPPET; the agreement awarded teachers a salary benefit that was staggered over several phases for a maximum of 10 years, but some teachers, including the petitioners, retired from service before earning their full benefits,” Executive Secretary of the KUPPET Nairobi branch, Mr. Moses Owiti, said.
He added: “During the budget for 2011/2012, the government had allocated Sh3.3 billion towards the affected teachers, but only a few teachers reported being paid,”
“Many of these teachers are between 71 and 81 years old; they need sustenance income, money for medicine, and other needs,” he said.
He urged the Senate committee on education to compel the Teachers Service Commission to immediately provide a list of all the affected teachers and initiate payment to them or their dependents in the case of those who are deceased.
The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) chairman, Mr. Charles Wachira, stated that one of their duties is to protect the interests of members.
He also stated that the retired teachers between 1997-2007 belonged to the unfunded civil service scheme, which is the reason behind the delayed payment of their pension.
However, he said that a new pension scheme, the Public Service Superannuation Service (PSSS), which commenced on January 1, 2021, will enable teachers below the age of 45 to make contributions to the scheme, hence they will be able to receive their pension on time.
By Rebecca Maria and Lucy Gitei