New NSSF board outlines plans

Wednesday December 5 2018

Board. Minister of finance Matia Kasaija

Board. Minister of finance Matia Kasaija (centre) and the newly appointed National Social Security Fund board of directors in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA 

By Eronie Kamukama

Kampala. Mr Patrick Byabakama Kaberenge has assumed National Social Security Fund’s (NSSF) chairmanship with a pledge to transform East Africa’s largest pensions fund in the next three years.
“During the tenure of the 11th board, we shall focus on growing our balance sheet size to Shs15 trillion. This projected growth requires that the mandatory cap is extended from the current threshold of 5 employees to 1 employee, so that even self-employed people are required to remit social security contributions,” Mr Byabakama said.

He also said there are plans to adapt new technologies for pension administration and unlocking the value of real estate projects of Pension Towers as well as fast tracking completion of the first phase of Lubowa, Nsimbe and Temangalo projects.
Mr Byabakama was speaking at the inauguration of NSSF’s new board of directors yesterday in Kampala.

The appointment for the board members took effect in September this year. But for three months, NSSF operated without a board because initial nominees from National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) failed to make it through the vetting process
Six out of the nine directors from the 10th board, including Mr Byabakama were reappointed to the 11th board. He will lead a nine-man team that will oversee the fund’s operations until the end of August 2021. The process to select a representative from the NOTU is still ongoing.

The new board comes at a time when the Fund’s assets under management have grown by over 34 per cent from Shs6.58 trillion in 2015 to Shs10 trillion in 2018. The Fund also declared a record interest rate of 15 per cent payable to its members this year.
Speaking at the inauguration, Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija asked the new board to ensure profitable and effective financial management of the Fund for the benefit of workers in particular.

“NSSF is now the largest pensions fund in East Africa by value with over Shs10 trillion in assets under management. Your appointment comes at a time when it is stable and performing exceptionally well. I therefore challenge you to provide the strategic direction needed,” Mr Kasaija said.

Mr Richard Byarugaba, NSSF managing director and board member, said that by increasing coverage, savings and giving sustainable returns, the Fund should hit Shs20 trillion by 2025.
With technology, turnaround time for benefits payments could reduce to one day from the current 11 days.