Mid term access to savings with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will be granted once the NSSF Amendment Bill 2019 has been enacted, the Fund’s Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has clarified.
“The Fund has received several inquiries following the President’s pronouncement on the midterm access clause 24 A (2) of the NSSF Amendment Bill 2019, to allow members who are 45 years and above, and have contributed to the Fund for 10 years to access up to 20% of their accrued benefits,” Byarugaba said in a statement.
“The Fund advises its members that this announcement does not now mean that the NSSF Amendment Bill has been enacted into law. Like all other bills, the NSSF Amendment Bill (2019) will be returned to Parliament by the President for further processing.”
President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday agreed to the workers’ mid-term access to their savings in NSSF, directing the Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development Betty Amongi to make changes to the bill and return it for consent.
This was after it was argued that midterm withdraws wouldn’t harm the fund’s operations.
“The Fund advises its members that this announcement does not now mean that the NSSF Amendment Bill has been enacted into law. Like all other bills, the NSSF Amendment Bill (2019) will be returned to Parliament by the President for further processing.
However, Minister Amongi Betty said they had delved into all the issues and their conclusion is that it would not have a substantial impact on the depletion of the fund because the fund is Shs15 trillion and they need between Shs800bn to 1 trillion to handle mid-term access at a go.
“We agreed to schedule it. We don’t pay all at a go but about 20% of members in a certain period and have also had criteria like age and amount saved,” she said.
The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija said they had already briefed the President on how they are going to handle this including the formation of regulations that will govern the way the money will get out.
NOTU Chairman General Usher Owere commended President Museveni for the bold decision and thanked him on behalf of workers of Uganda for listening to their plight.
“Workers are very happy with you. You have saved this country and workers will never forget you. I thank the workers for being patient,” he said.
Every month, institutions deduct 5% of employees’ salaries as contributions to NSSF, the employers top it up with 10 percent while NSSF earns them 12%.
NSSF is a government agency responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment and distribution of retirement funds from employees in the private sector who are not covered by the government retirement scheme.
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