NSSF targets informal sector workers

NSSF managing director Richard Byarugaba (L) hands over carpentry equipment to Prisons boss Johnson Basaija. Photo by Stephen Otage

What you need to know:

Fact. The Fund’s total saving now stands at Shs6.5 trillion from members.

Kampala. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has finalised creating a product, which is yet to be named, targeting pension savings from workers engaged in the informal sector.
While addressing the press on Tuesday, Mr Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, said within the coming two months, the Fund will have concluded working out the product.
He said savers in the informal sector will now be able to save using mobile money like it is already happening in neighbouring countries.
“The NSSF threshold for the contributors is currently 15 per cent where the employee contributes five per cent, while the employer contributes 10 per cent. The Jua Kali (workers in the informal sector) will have the flexibility that will allow them to go in and out,” he said.
He added that for as long as someone earns a minimum salary of Shs150,000 regularly, such a person is eligible to contribute to the Fund.
Asked if such savings are transferable within other EAC member states in case a worker relocated to work there, Mr Byarugaba said the biggest challenge workers within the EAC face currently, is lack of a uniform currency.
This, he said, causes fluctuations in exchange rates within the region because majority of the savings schemes within EAC are defined schemes which depend on workers’ salaries yet NSSF is a provident Fund which pays out a lump sum of money once the saver clocks the mandatory age or satisfyies other legal requirements.
“We do not have a harmonised product. In Tanzania, for example, their scheme provides for medical insurance.
“We do not have a fixed exchange rate in the region so when a worker goes to Tanzania, they will contribute there and when they are leaving, they withdraw the money and comeback with it,” he said.

NSSF visited Luzira Murchison Bay Prison earlier in the day, where the Fund donated an assortment of carpentry equipment to the prison’s carpentry department to strengthen skills development for the inmates.
NSSF is provided for by the laws of Uganda to provide social security services to employees in the country through collection of monthly savings of its members and later pay them at an appropriate time as provided by the law.