By Patrick Beja
A group of MPs has vowed to push through a Bill on social security even as they seek input from public and sector regulator Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA).
The Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Social Welfare said the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Bill 2012 would transform the lives of retirees since it allows workers in the formal and non-formal sectors to contribute and reap benefits.
Chairperson Ms Sophia Abdi said the transformation of the fund from provident to pension status would also allow retirees to draw monthly pensions instead of the current lump sum, which leaveS the elderly in a vulnerable situation.
“The transformation allows NSSF to cover larger part of the population as it allows workers in the informal sector to join it. There is a window of opportunity and Kenyans and even the RBA should give their inputs to the Bill,” Abdi said.
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She spoke at Pangoni Beach Resort where the committee endorsed the Bill. The MPs noted that RBA chief executive officer Mr Edward Odundo had expressed concerns but they urged him to appear before the team. Labour minister John Munyes and Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Mr Francis Atwoli backed the Bill.
“We have already subjected the Bill to workers and employers and they have supported it. The reforms at NSSF are good for all,” Munyes said.
On Sunday, Mr Odundo said as the regulator of pension schemes, RBA was concerned about the fine details of the Bill as it seeks to protect the interests of contributors. “Let them be cautious about this expanded pension scheme,” he wondered.
Instead Mr Odundo recommended that the Bill be put before the public for scrutiny, adding that he would make a written presentation before the parliamentary committee.