Saturday April 5 2014

MPs draft Bill to raise their retirement benefits

By Yasiin Mugerwa


Members of Parliament have agreed to amend the Parliamentary Pensions Act to increase their retirement benefits.
However, the new move will technically lock out MPs who serve for only one term.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday cleared Ms Rose Akol Okullo (Bukedea Woman) to draft a Private Members’ Bill to amend the Act she described as “full of gaps” and does not give members “meaningful” retirement package.
“The pension period is too short and the benefits are not helping members,” Ms Akullo said.

She adde: “There is need to redesign the scheme for members to have a meaningful retirement package.” Under the current law, if a one-term legislator loses a seat or ceases to be an MP, he or she earns about Shs400,000 every month as pension.

The second term legislators earn more than Shs800,000 a month. However, some MPs have opted out of the scheme due to financial pressures after missing the big parliamentary emoluments upon either losing their seats or ceasing to be MPs. Those who opt out of the scheme after losing re-election are always paid one lump sum.

MPs’ pension
The Parliamentary Pension Scheme was established by the Parliamentary Pensions Act 2007 as a Contributory Hybrid Cash Balance Retirement Benefit Plan for MPs and the Parliamentary Commission staff. The scheme is managed by a Board of Trustees.