Retired Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate will henceforth enjoy hefty perks should the Finance Bill 2023 be approved by Parliament.
According to the Bill presented to legislators by the Treasury last week, former Speakers of Parliament will, during their lifetime, be entitled to a monthly pension equal to 80 per cent of their last monthly salary while in office.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), according to a gazette notice issued in 2022, currently pegs the salary of Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate at Sh1.16 million, each, inclusive of their basic pay which is set at Sh696,000 with an additional house allowance of Sh250,000 and salary market adjustment of Sh214,000, each.
This means that upon retirement, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula and his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi could be eligible for a monthly pension of approximately Sh928,000, each.
Former Speakers will also be eligible for a lump sum payment calculated as a sum to one year’s salary paid for each term served in office.
And in a move that will put them at per with other entitled persons such as retired Judges and even Deputy Presidents, they will be eligible to a four-wheel drive vehicle of an engine capacity not exceeding 3000 cc which shall be replaceable once every four years, and one saloon vehicle of an engine capacity not exceeding 2000 CC which shall also be replaceable once every four years.
The Finance Bill proposes that the Speakers will receive a fuel allowance equal to 15 per cent of the current monthly salary of the office holder- Sh174,000- will also be availed monthly.
“They will also be entitled to full medical and hospital cover, providing for local and overseas treatment, with a reputable insurance company for the entitled person’s spouse. As well as the additional benefits set out in the first schedule,” reads the Bill.
The draft law also provides for the benefits of a retired Speaker who partially serves their stipulated tenure in office.
An entitled person who is in office for less than a term, shall not be entitled to all the benefits set out above but shall be eligible for a gratuity paid at the end of their service at the rate of 31 per cent of the entitled person’s salary while in office.
They will also have access to one armed security guard who shall be provided on request by the entitled person and diplomatic passports for the entitled person and his spouse and access to the VIP lounge at all airports within Kenya.
“Where an entitled person dies in service after the commencement of this Act, a lump sum on death calculated as a sum equal to five times his annual salary shall become payable to his legal personal representatives,” further notes the Bill.
Moreover, the benefits granted to an entitled person or his or her surviving spouse shall be administered; in the case of a retired Deputy President, retired Prime Minister, or retired Vice President, by the office of the President and shall be provided for in the estimates of national government referred to in Article 221 (1) of the Constitution.
In the case of a retired Speaker of the National Assembly or the Senate, by the Parliamentary Service Commission, they shall be provided for in the estimates of the parliamentary service prepared pursuant to Article 127(6)(c) of the Constitution.
And in the case of a retired Chief Justice or retired Deputy Chief Justice, by the Judicial Service Commission and shall be provided for in the estimates of the Judiciary prepared pursuant to Article 173(3) of the Constitution.
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The Speakers mandated to ensure order in the conduction of House business and that lawmakers abide by the rules and traditions. The Speakers are ex-officio Members of Parliament elected by parliamentarians. According to the Constitution, the National Assembly Speaker is the third in command after the President and his deputy.