The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has written to NSSF members expressing the Fund’s support of mid – term benefits to it’s members.
Following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and it’s impacts on the economy, there are growing calls for NSSF to pay its members 20% of their accumulated benefits.
This is because the recent closure of businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19 is increasing unemployment and failure to service loan obligations.
Several commentators and politicians have advocated for 20% NSSF partial payment.
Following the people’s pain and outcry, Byarugaba last week on 12th May wrote to the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija about the worst case scenario of the economic implementations of the proposal to pay 20% to the members.
Now in the letter written by Byarugaba to NSSF members reads that NSSF owed it to the Minister of Finance, NSSF members and all Ugandans to be honest in the analysis to facilitate the process of making right decisions that need to be made.
“Understandably, this analysis may have given wrong impression that NSSF does not in any way support midterm benefits. This is far from the truth. In the last paragraph of our letter to the Minister, we reiterated our support for planned midterm benefits that are embedded within the NSSF Amendment Bill before Parliament,” read Byarugaba’s letter to NSSF members.
He added that the current legislation, NSSF Act Cap 222 that governs the Fund’s operations does not provide for midterm benefits and has limited the NSSF’s ability to offer benefits to members.
Byarugaba also stated that before the outbreak of COVID-19, NSSF together with stakeholders especially Trade Unions supported NSSF Amendment Act to provide for additional benefits to members.
“Before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, together with various stakeholders especially Trade Unions, the Fund strongly supported the amendments to the NSSF Act which among other changes provides for additional benefits to the existing age benefits, invalidity benefit and survivors benefit,” the letter read.
The purpose of additional benefits, Byarugaba said is not only to provide a degree of income security when faced with life contingencies like COVID-19 pandemic but also safeguard retirement goals to members.
Once the Bill is passed into law, the Fund will extend social security to more Ugandans, improve the adequacy or value of benefits to members and provide midterm benefits to members during their working life that covers short term to long term needs such as unemployment/ income replacement, education, medical and housing.
“We therefore appeal to Parliament of Uganda to fast track the NSSF Amendment Bill. We also encourage you, our member through your MP to join us in calling upon the August House to urgently pass this law.”