The National Social Security Fund Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba has clarified that the fund has all the money for mid-term access in case the NSSF Amendment Bill is passed by Parliament.
The development comes a day after Byarugaba told MPs on the Gender Committee of Parliament, which is currently collecting public views and scrutinising the NSSF (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that they did not have the money required to pay the 20% mid-term access to all the eligible members at ago, once the law is passed.
Byarugaba told the Gender committee that this year they were to pay Shs932 billion in interests to members, but because of the new NSSF Amendment Bill, they will have to pay an additional Shs902 billion.
He said that they are expecting Shs120 billion per month in remittances by employers, and with this, the money for mid-term access which may amount to shs 1.5 trillion (interests and mid-term benefits), and this will not be available as soon as the law passes.
He added that the Fund’s money has already been invested, and there is no cash at hand to pay mid-term benefit claimants, if the Bill is enacted.
However, in a press statement issued this afternoon, Byarugaba, reassured the NSSF members and the country that it has funds to meet mid-term ppayments.
Byarugaba said that funds will be available when the NSSF Amendment Bill is passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.
The proposed law, provides that any Fund member aged 45 and above who has saved for at least a decade, is eligible to withdraw up to 20 percent of their savings.
Section 24A of the Bill provides that “a member who is 45 years of age and above and who has made contributions to the Fund for at least 10 years is eligible to mid-term access to his or her benefits of a sum not Exceeding20 per cent of his or her accrued benefits.”
Byarugaba in the statement says that about 902.5 billion is required to pay members who qualify for the 20% of their savings as proposed in the Bill.
He said that an additional 900billion pay members who qualify for NSSF benefits as provided for in the existing Act is also required.
Byarugaba explained that, in order to efficiently process the 20% mid-term payments, the Fund has commissioned an upgraded Pension Administration System, which will be installed on November 1, 2021.
“The NSSF Amendment Bill has our unqualified support because it is a progressive piece of legislation that will open many opportunities for the fund, and its members and the country at large,” he said.
Byarugaba noted that the Fund is prepared to implement the NSSF Ammendmnt Bill in its entirety as soon as it is passed into law and attendant regulations published.