Uganda’s National Social Security Fund will commence payment of eligible members for the mid-term access to their contributions on March.17 in response to the new pension law.
President Yoweri Museveni assented into the amended pension law, NSSF Act 2022, paving way for contributors to access up to 20% of their contributions before the mandatory 55 years.
Eligible members for mid-term benefits, however, will be those who are 45 years and above and have made contributions to the fund for at least 10 years and those with disability issues, aged 40 years and above and have contributed for at least 10 years. Those with disability are eligible to access up to 50% if their accrued benefits.
NSSF’s Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba, said during a media dialogue in Kampala on March.07 that the Fund has earmarked Shs 1 trillion for this exercise this year, with an estimated Shs 50billion paid out weekly over the next five months to eligible members who have applied for the benefit.
“We have started receiving applications for qualifying members of the mid-term benefit and I want to assure all NSSF members and Ugandans that we are more than ready to start paying out money to eligible members,” he said.
“As of March 1st 2022, we had 41,174 members eligible for these payments and in accordance with the regulations – stipulated by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development… a National ID, Verifiable mobile phone number, verifiable Bank Account, NSSF Number, 1 e-photo is all that is required to finalise the verification and application process”
Byarugaba said to streamline processes, applications can be made through mobile phone (on MTN and Airtel networks), online web platform and at different physical locations that include NSSF branches, selected employer premises and at Kololo Airstrip. The payments will then be made either through a member’s bank account or mobile money channels.
He said withdrawals of less than Shs 3 million will be by mobile money, as per the National Payments Systems Act, 2020, and the National Payments Systems Regulations, 2021 and a Verifiable Bank Account for those with payments above Shs 3 million.
“Beyond the support to ensure that members successfully withdraw their savings, we have also boosted our financial wellness program to enable our members to continue making the best decisions regarding investment of their hard-earned money,” Byarugaba said.
“This is advised by our research that shows that only 2% of savers who withdraw their money go on to invest it in long term projects while others fall back on hard times. We aim to ensure that we remain relevant to our savers at any stage of their journey with us.”
Currently, NSSF manages assets worth over Shs15.5 trillion invested in fixed income, equities and real estate assets within the East Africa region.