State sets off plan to close pyrethrum workers’ scheme

The Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya (PPCK) premises in Nakuru. Dialogue on the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya staff Superannuation Scheme liquidation has started. [Harun Wathari, Standard].

The Retirement Benefits Authority has kicked off dialogue on the liquidation of the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya Staff Superannuation Scheme.

This follows a court ruling in December 2016 that ordered liquidation of the 700 member pension scheme, which the court found unable to pay its debts amounting to Sh1.4 billion.

Hundreds of pensioners on Thursday attended a meeting in Nakuru with various parties including representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, who is the liquidator, Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) and the Agriculture and Food Authority.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, the pensioners’ secretary Harun Tinga said the meeting discussed how the money owed to the pensioners will be paid.

“We are glad that this first meeting has materialised. Today, we dwelt on how the pensioners want the money disbursed to them even as we wait for the Government to release it,” he said.

He added negotiations between various Government organs have also kicked off on the source of money for the payoff.

The pensioners called on the RBA to ensure they get their dues in lump sum so that they can do something tangible with their life savings.

“It will be unfair if the pensioners are paid in bits what they saved when they were young. We are urging the RBA to ensure we all get the money once and allow the pensioners live a more decent life,” said Tinga.

He pointed out that monthly payments will deny them real value of their savings, adding that majority are living in abject poverty.

Very old

“We have widows and widowers who are very old and this is money they saved at their tender age. Some have got into heavy debts hoping to settle them with these funds. Monthly payments will do very little to transform their lives,” he said.

The pensioners called on the Government to ensure the payment is done in the shortest time possible since many of them have died while waiting for their dues.

Only 170 members of the scheme are still in active employment and have expressed their support of the court ruling with a plan to join other pension schemes.

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