Most Kenyans lack a saving scheme - RBA

Concern over poor saving culture in the country

In Summary

•Plans on to increase number of those saving from 25 to 30 percent

•Concern over graft in some of the schemes

Close to 14 million workers mainly in the informal sector do not have any form of savings, according to the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA).

The authority is warns that this will have far reaching consequences in future as the number of poor retirees with no savings hits the streets.

According to Jackson Ngotho, a director with RBA, close to 13.9m Kenyans have no form of savings towards their retirement, the majority being in the informal sector.

He noted that of the 3.5 million employed workers, around 800,000 were contributing to both the NSSF and individual schemes with 2.7 million contributing only to NSSF.

“This means there are about 13.9 million Kenyans with no form of savings towards their retirement and this is a time bomb and it indicates that most Kenyans will retire poor,” he said.

Ngotho was however quick to note that despite the challenges, the sector was growing both in terms of membership and investment.

He noted that as at June 30, 2022, the assets under management stood at Sh1,514 billion a growth from Sh44.7 billon in 2000 when the Authority commenced its operations.

“Schemes continue to invest heavily in government securities with the asset class accounting for 45.60 per cent followed by guaranteed funds that account for 18.79 per cent,” he said.

This emerged at the end of the 7th Annual MINET Kenya pension conference in Naivasha which attracted more  than 200 members of various pension schemes.

Ngotho said that low contribution rates such as the Sh400 to NSSF, short contribution periods and leakages due to early withdrawals from schemes had led to low-income replacement rates.

“Our recent survey of pensioners indicated that 73 percent of them did not have adequate benefits at retirement age,” he said.

MINET General Manager for Pensions Daniel Mainga supported proposals to make it mandatory for all those employed to be members of pension schemes.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Mainga said that the pension sector had grown from Sh40 billion in 2000 to over Sh1.5 trillion with projections that it could grow further.

“We support calls to make it mandatory for all employed workers to be saving as currently only 25 percent are members of pension schemes,” he said.

Mainga lauded the move to introduce new regulations by the Retired Benefits Authority which include reviewing the current contribution amount and introducing medical cover for retirees.

“There are less than 2,000 pension schemes in Kenya and this places the country as one of the lowest in terms of savings in the region,” he said.


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