What you need to know:
- Under the new law, members aged 45 years and above, who have made contributions to the Fund for at least a decade, are eligible to mid-term access not exceeding 20 percent of their accrued benefits.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will pay about Shs903 billion to clear about 93,400 savers eligible for mid-term benefits.
President Museveni on January 2 assented to the NSSF (Amendment) Act 2021.
Under the new law, members aged 45 years and above, who have made contributions to the Fund for at least a decade, are eligible to mid-term access not exceeding 20 percent of their accrued benefits.
While addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre yesterday, the NSSF board chairperson, Mr Peter Kimbowa, said about 93,400 people qualify for the money.
“I assure the public that the money is available and eligible savers will access their savings as stipulated in the law,” Kimbowa said.
“We are well prepared to play our part. The new law is a new life for Ugandans,” he added.
Mr Kimbowa said they would establish various platforms to ease communication between NSSF staff, stakeholders and members of the public through sharing updates on any developments.
“Starting from this week, we shall have regular communication with members of the public and stakeholders so that they can seek clarity and ask questions of their choice,” he said.
Government says mid-term access will start in two months after gazetting the enabling law and agreeing other terms and conditions.
According to the the law, persons with disabilities, who have saved with the Fund for more than 10 years can have access to up to 50 percent of their accrued savings.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms Betty Amongi, commended the President for assenting to the Bill.
“He has done it at a time when several workers are struggling to make ends meet due to the effects of Covid-19,” Ms Amongi said.
She, however, cautioned that mid-term access to savings is not compulsory, saying the savers who are eligible but wish to access their money when they clock the retirement age of 55 years are free to do so. “You are free to postpone access or even ask for a lesser percentage than what is stated in the law. If you are supposed to access 20 percent of savings, you are free to ask for 12 percent or less,” she said.
The minister also said the current law does not interfere with the previous terms and conditions of accessing NSSF savings.
“The provision regarding midterm access to benefits by qualifying members of the Fund shall come into effect after I have issued a statutory instrument that will guide on the terms and conditions, and procedures for accessing benefits. I am required by the Act to issue this instrument and lay the same before Parliament for information within 60 days after publication of the Act in the Uganda Gazette,” she said.
Ms Amongi said her ministry, as the supervising body of the Fund, will ensure the Act is implemented in time.
Ms Amongi encouraged more workers to save with NSSF to secure their future. “Every worker is now eligible to save with the Fund. Every employer, as defined in the Act, is now obliged to contribute to the NSSF for their workers, irrespective of the number employed. Every worker can voluntarily save with the Fund, over and above the mandatory 15 percent contributions,” she said.