The Government, through the National Treasury, has implemented a new Pension Scheme to benefit public servants in their retirement.
The Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS), is part of the reforms in the Public Service Pensions’ sector enacted by the government in 2012, through a gazette notice and effected in 2021, January 1st.
The Scheme covers the civil servants, teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the disciplined services, including the National Police Service, Prisons Service and the National Youth Service.
Michael Obonyo, Assistant Director Information, heading the Communications Unit at the National Treasury, said that the Scheme was meant to ensure sustainability of the Wage Bill for pension in the public sector.
The previous Scheme dubbed Defined Benefit Scheme entirely depended on exchequer funding.
“The introduction of the new Scheme has now stopped the bleeding of the exchequer and an assurance of a sustainable wage Bill for pension in the public service,” he said.
PSSS on the other hand is a contributory approach where the government and the employees contribute to the scheme monthly to fund the retirement benefits of the employee.
The scheme is for the benefit of public servants who are below the age of 45 years as at 1st January 2021 and are on permanent and pensionable terms of service.
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It is mandatory that members part with 7.5 per cent of their monthly basic salary and the government contributes 15 percent of the monthly basic salary in respect to each employee.
The civil servants are guaranteed of getting their benefits as early as 30 days into their retirement.
The Assistant Director said that unlike in the old Scheme where one had to reach the age of retirement (60 years) to get their pension, in the new contributory Scheme they are assured of a lump sum even if they took an early retirement.
“The Government had good intentions in coming up with the new Scheme so as to enable the civil servants retire home well and with huge packs as well as with a medical cover,” Mr. Obonyo stated.
He spoke, Friday, within Homa Bay town during PSSS sensitization meeting where he stated that they wanted to make members understand the transitional arrangements from the old to the new scheme so as to plan ahead.
Mr. Obonyo added that there was a need to explain to the public servants the rationale behind the establishment of the new pension scheme.
The PSSS trustee, John Matiangi, said that members of the scheme can also increase their contributions adding, “They are allowed to increase their contributions to whichever level they want because that is their money which they are saving for retirement.”
The trustee said that members of the Scheme will enjoy tax benefits as contributions are deducted from the salary before tax is calculated.
He said the scheme is manned by trustees who are drawn from trade unions.
There are also service providers taking care of the scheme such as the Fund Managers, Fund Administrators and the Custodians (Three Banks).
The money deducted by the Treasury from members is invested by the fund managers and profits spread to members’ accounts.
Matiangi asked the public servants to fill the next of kin forms, to enable the trustees to pay them in case of death while in service.