Parliament Passes NSSF Bill Enabling Mid-Term Access

NSSF building

Parliament Passes NSSF Bill Enabling Mid-Term Access

Parliament of Uganda has passed a National Social Security Fund (NSSF) bill that is enabling mid-term access to 20% for those who have saved for 10 years.

Parliament chaired by speaker Rebecca Kadaga also resolved that there should be dual management of the fund with the Minister of Finance in charge of the money and its investment, while the ministry of Gender handles the social issues affecting the savers.

For almost two years Parliament has been at loggerheads with the executive over the long awaited National Social Security Amendment bill 2019.

But the Wednesday parliamentary sitting chaired by Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga saw the legislators pass the bill with clause 10 that grants midterm access to members to their savings.

Under this clause, anyone who has saved with the fund for a period of 10 years and the one that has clocked 45 years will all be allowed to access 20percent of their savings.

Workers MPs Agnes Kunihira and Dr Sam Lyomoki say the passing of this same clause will give a leeway to a person who is disabled and has lost his job to access his or her savings to a maximum of 75 percent though it had been opposed by the Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana.

Agnes Kunihira, the vice chairperson of the Gender committee said Ugandans should be pleased about the passing of the bill.

Other amendments include the mandatory savings by all workers in the formal sector. This implies that even employers employing less than five people will now be required to contribute to the fund.

However, parliament did not approve of unemployment benefits. The proposal was that a member of the Fund who has been unemployed for a continuous period of two years will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

The rejected proposal had provided that the member shows evidence of having actively sought employment in vain. There are currently about 1.5 million NSSF subscribers.

The bill was tabled in 2019 by the state minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi.

It proposed 29 amendments to expand social security coverage through mandatory contributions of all workers regardless of the size of the enterprise or number of workers.

It also seeks to establish a stakeholder board, provide for midterm access to voluntary contributions and enhance fines.