Informal sector urged to utilise technology to plan for retirement

Uganda's First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga and URBRA CEO Martin Nsubuga (C/back row) pose for a  photo  with URBRA staff during a symposium in Kampala on August 16, 2022. PHOTO/RACHEL NABISUBI

What you need to know:

  • The URBRA CEO Mr Martin Nsubuga observed that with technology, the Authority has enhanced its supervisory capabilities.

Considering the rising cost of key commodities, it is no brainer that it has become so difficult to save. With inflation eroding purchasing power, there is little or even nothing that can easily be put aside for a rainy day —particularly at that time when you are no longer at the peak of your powers—old age.

Therefore it makes a lot of sense that at this period in time you should be self-sustaining. For this to work out, you must be able save some money or have investments that will see you through your old age.

Mr Benjamin Mukiibi, manager research and strategy, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), said that saving across generations is a profound challenge especially since you have to save for two generations.

However he notes that in order to bridge the generation gap, there is need to adapt to technology, support innovations and improve various designs with an aim of having a retirement income.

“The major innovation that URBRA has come up with is widening the scope of coverage looking at informal sector workers  because of the challenges we have been having with the system at the moment does not take care of labour informality and yet most of the Ugandan workers are in the informal sector,” Mr Mukiibi noted.

Speaking during a symposium in Kampala dubbed “Re-thinking the scope of retirement for old security”, he noted that URBRA is adopting technology and proposing a national pensions scheme.

“All these members that are non-salaried yet transacting should be able to make nominal contributions for their retirement easily and conveniently. We think if we started early to incentivize non-salaried workers or those that are in the informal sector to plan for retirement, they will have a better value proposition in life,” Mr Mukiibi added.

Uganda's First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga (4th L) and URBRA CEO Martin Nsubuga (3rd L) pose for a photo with other dignitaries during the symposium on August 16, 2022. PHOTO/RACHEL NABISUBI

The URBRA CEO Mr Martin Nsubuga observed that with technology, the Authority has enhanced its supervisory capabilities.

“We are not on the ground all the time to oversee the sector. We can in real time detect the risks and follow where the money is invested and what is happening in the scheme,” Mr Nsubuga said early last week.

He further admitted that URBRA has been lagging in ICT for the last three months but with the onboarding of supervision, they will be able to improve services.

“In order to help the public leverage on technology, we have started a discussion with all the telecom providers to see that we can leverage on their platforms and be able to interface them with different schemes,” Mr Nsubuga disclosed.  

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