•The Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Policy Framework, of June 2015 recommended that whenever there are salary adjustments in the Public sector, Pensions should also be adjusted.
•The government, during the Kenya social protection conference 2023, committed to increase social protection coverage, including to increase coverage of the National Safety Net Programme from 1.2 to 2.5 million households.
Kenya Association of Retired Officers now wants the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to review pensions to align this with the current economic realities.
The lobby says some of its members have been receiving pension of Sh3,000 for over 10 years despite the rising cost of living.
They want pensions to be included among the annual reviews by SRC in accordance with the Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Policy Framework, of June 2015.
The policy paper recommended that whenever there are salary adjustments in the public sector, pensions should equally be adjusted.
“These recommendations unfortunately, have never been effected and low levels of pension whose value is diminishing with time, continue to be paid to the retirees some of them drawing as low as Sh3,000 which is way below the national poverty line in Kenya,” said KARO chair Ahmed Hussein.
He said that the lobby proposed a review of the pension paid to those who retired before 2005 and adjustment of pension to take into account inflation and cost of living.
The proposal was approved by parliament and forwarded to the SRC and the National Treasury.
Labour, Social Protection and Services Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore, said the government will work towards facilitating the environment to ensure the utilisation of skills and knowledge of retired officers.
“It never hits us in the ministry that the pension given to older persons is very little and unimproved. Older members of our society continue to face challenges ranging from inadequacy of basic needs, such as food, shelter, to social concerns, such as neglect, elderly abuse and deteriorating income needs,” she said.
At recently concluded Kenya Social Protection Conference 2023 the government committed to increase social protection coverage, including to increase coverage of the National Safety Net Programme from 1.2 to 2.5 million households.
Given the decline in the reach of national programmes, an annual increase of 30 per cent in coverage rates is needed to ensure half of those living in poverty receive necessary support by 2030, with particular emphasis on poor and vulnerable children.
From the conference it emerged that the monthly cash transfer amount has not changed since 2012 despite the yearly inflation rates exceeding six per cent eroding purchasing power, there is need to revisit it.
KARO patron Kiraitu Murungi urged the CS to ensure the enactment of the Social Health Insurance Act does not negatively affect the implementation of the health insurance scheme, which has greatly aided access to healthcare for its many members.
“When I retired, I lost my medical cover. It was the KARO Comprehensive Health scheme that has been helpful for me. Many elderly persons will suffer with the withdrawal of the comprehensive cover,” said Murungi.
Former education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi challenged the retirees to accept that one has retired and avoid living in self-denial and have a successful life in retirement
The association mainly comprises of retired public officers from the police service, universities, prisons, military, politicians, teachers, county government officials and judiciary.