Friday, November 18, 2005

(NSSF) No Social Security Fund

At a forum to discuss the proposed controversial conversion of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) from a National Provident Fund Scheme to a Social Insurance Pension Scheme, actuarian Sandeep Raichura dropped some hard facts about the current state of the fund right now. E.g. (i) if you start working today at age 25 & join the NSSF scheme, and work for 30 years, you will receive a 200,000 shilling lump sum when you retire at age 55 – which is less than the average annual salary of Kenyans of 260,000 shillings per year. (This assumes you only make the statutory 400 shilling per month contribution, which the NSSF will invest and earn a reasonable 10% p.a)

While the NSSF has a history of poor governance and dubious investments the social challenges that the NSSF faces are a greater risk to retiree’s e.g. (i) contributions are too low: at independence it was 40 shillings per month, now it is 200 shillings (ii) members are too few: NSSF has about 800,000 members, yet there are 2 million Kenyans in formal employment and over 5 million in informal employment who are not members (iii) there are 1 million Kenyans over 65, and another million approaching 60 years.

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