REFORMATIVE AGENDA

Zamara calls for more inclusive and bolder pension reforms

This so as to build back a more resilient and inclusive pensions industry post Covid-19

In Summary
  • The firm's CEO called for bolder policy measures including making pension contributions compulsory and significantly increasing the tax breaks for the sector.
  • According Retirement Benefits Authority, despite the pensions sector being hit with by the Covid-19 pandemic, the industry still registered growth to cross the Sh1.4trillion mark.
RBA ceo Nzomo Mutuku with Zamara CEO Sundeep Raichura
RBA ceo Nzomo Mutuku with Zamara CEO Sundeep Raichura
Image: Douglas Okiddy

The government has been urged to spearhead the growth and further development of the pensions industry through bolder policy reforms to build back a more resilient and inclusive pensions industry post Covid-19.

Speaking at the official opening of a two-day Pension Conference organized by Zamara , the firm's CEO, Sundeep Raichura called for bolder policy measures including making pension contributions compulsory and significantly increasing the tax breaks for the sector.

“The monetary limit on tax deductible pension contributions has been urged to spearhead the growth and further development of the pensions industry through bolder policy reforms to build back a more resilient and inclusive pensions industry post Covid-19,” said Raichura.

He added that the country can increase long term domestic savings critical to fuel economic growth and create jobs much faster if bolder pension are implemented.

Raichura also said there was an urgent need to extend pension coverage to the uncovered informal sector especially with 85 per cent of the workforce in the informal sector.

“An informal sector worker has as much if not higher need than their formal sector counterpart to provide for or be protected against the loss of income earning capacity in old age” Raichura said.

He added that Zamara has solutions to enable tech-based enrollment and flexible savings by informal sector workers.

Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) CEO Nzomo Mutuku said that whereas the pensions sector was hit with the Covid-19 pandemic, the industry still registered growth to cross the Sh1.4trillion mark.

Mutuku urged pension fund trustees and providers to consider innovating new products to enable Kenyans to benefit from the favorable regulations implemented by RBA.

He lauded pension trustees who had included provision for post-retirement medical savings in their schemes especially given the plight of retirees without medical cover.

He decried the lack of effective communication to pension fund members.

“Pension fund members need communication beyond their benefit statements if they are to better plan their retirement,'' he said.