Planned liberalised pension sector attracts 385 players

The Workers’ House headquarters in Kampala. NSSF does not disclose how much Makerere University owes the Fund in workers’ contributions or for how long the default has existed. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

The Bill seeks to open up the pension sector for competition, increase coverage and restore trust in the pension system.

Kampala- The planned liberalised pension sector continues to attract players despite the withdrawal of the Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalisation Bill, 2011 from Parliament early this month.

Figures from the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) indicate the number of licensed players has increased from 351 mid this year to 385 as of October.

This includes 11 administrators, five corporate trustees from three, 306 individual trustees from 300, five custodians, six fund managers and 52 Retirement Benefits Schemes.

The Bill, which had been read for the first time in Parliament on September 19 and later referred to the Finance Committee for further scrutiny, was withdrawn from Parliament early this month. This was after it emerged that Ministry of Finance officials had taken two different draft bills on pension reforms.

It emerged that the same Bill was first tabled in the 8th Parliament and was never withdrawn yet the government brought another draft in the 9th parliament.
Junior Finance minister in charge of General Duties Fred Omach was earlier quoted by this newspaper saying there was a mistake in the reprinting of the Bill which resulted in the omission of the key principles of the Bill saved in the 9th Parliament, thereby rendering the re-introduced Bill substantially different from the earlier Bill introduced in 8th Parliament.

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka, however, told the Global African Investment Summit in London last week that the Bill is currently being considered by the relevant committee of Parliament and is expected to be enacted into law before the end of this year.

She added that a retreat is also expected to take place in the next two weeks for the committee of Parliament to finalise its work and prepare a report to be presented to the plenary in Parliament.

According to her, the enactment of the Bill will provide an attractive environment for pension funds to be invested in Uganda and within the East African region.

Mr Kenneth Kitariko, the African Alliance chief executive officer, one of the licensed Fund managers, said: “There is need to fast-track the passing of the bill to pave way for the opening up of the sector.”

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