URBRA which is mandated to regulate and supervise the establishment, management and operation of retirement benefits schemes in Uganda levies a compulsory annual fee paid by NSSF and other retirement benefits schemes of up to 0.0256 % of the Total Asset Value in the statement of financial position.
Trade Unions want Parliament to scrap off the 0.0256% equivalent
to 6 billion shillings in annual levy by Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory
Authority (URBRA) on workers savings held by the National Social Security Fund -NSSF.
URBRA which is mandated to regulate and supervise the
establishment, management and operation of retirement benefits schemes in
Uganda levies a compulsory annual fee paid by NSSF and other retirement
benefits schemes of up to 0.0256 % of the Total Asset Value in the statement of
According to URBRA, this levy is charged in order for the
Authority to be independent and effectively regulate the sector, with a view
that over the longer term the Authority should be able to finance its
Now the National Organization
of Trade Unions (NOTU) and the Central Organization of Free Trade Unions -COFTU wants this levy removed since its eating into the members' savings.
The trade organizations made the demand when they were appearing before the Parliaments
committee on Gender Labor and Social Development who are reconsidering the NSSF
Last month, the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah gave
the committee 10 days to scrutinize the National Social Security fund -NSSF
Amendment Bill 2021.
The 10th parliament passed the NSSF bill allowing for midterm access by savers
above 45 years or at least those who have saved for 10 years. However, the
president didn’t assent to the bill until the expiry of the 10th parliament. He
returned the bill to the speaker, saying parliament needs to amend the
commencement date of the Act so that it comes into force on the date of its
publication in the gazette.
He also noted that only people above 45 years old and who have saved for over
10 years can access 20 per cent of their savings, saying anything else would be
unsustainable for the fund. The president also disagreed with the proposal
in the bill to allow Persons living with disabilities to access up to 75 per
cent of their savings.
Now although the trade Unions agree with the President's
proposal on midterm access for 45-year-olds who have saved for 10 years, they
want the levy scrapped.
Peter Werikhe, the Secretary General of NOTU and Former NSSF
Board Member says that the regulator is thriving at the expense of Ugandans who
are saving. He says this year the percentage will mean up to 7 billion
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On the proposal that Ministry of Finance should supervise
and manage the funds of now up to 15 trillion shilling, Werikhe states that the worst
should be dual management between Ministry of Gender and Ministry of Finance.
He says Ministry of Gender should handle the social protection issue, while finance can handle the investment
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Werikhe also rejects the proposal to have the Managing
Director of NSSF to have voting rights. He says that the roles of oversight
will conflict as the board cannot oversee the conduct of the MD who happens to
be a board member with voting rights.
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The trade Unions also want a forensic audit on the Makerere
University Retirements benefit scheme for workers, saying that the University scheme
will be greatly mismanaged looking at the past experiences.He says this funds
of over 900 staff should be returned to the NSSF.
Usher Wilson Owere the chairperson NOTU says that the
security of the Makerere scheme is unknown, and the committee should take
interest in it.
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Committee Chairperson and Kyegegwa Woman MP says that they will conclude with the
meeting with stakeholders on Friday with the Ministry of Finance. She says that
the whole Parliament needs to get information from NOTU regarding the NSSF
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