SUFFERING

Kenya Railways retirees appeal for their delayed pension

The retirees said it has been 11 months since they last received cash.

In Summary

• They want a small amount of their pension paid every month rather than wait for one year.

• They say over the years, so many members have died due to poor quality of life.

Kenya Railways Corporation retiree John Mwangi in Kenol on Tuesday
Kenya Railways Corporation retiree John Mwangi in Kenol on Tuesday
Image: /ALICE WAITHERA

Kenya Railways Corporation retirees want the government to intervene and ensure their monthly pension is paid.

The retirees said it has been 11 months since they last received their pension cash.

John Mwangi, who led a group of retirees at a press briefing on Tuesday at Kenol in Maragua, said he retired in 1998 and the pensions were regularly paid until 2007.

Then, Mwangi said, Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Scheme (KRSBS) had assets worth Sh12.6 billion.

“When the government could not continue paying us, it transferred some of the properties owned by KRC to the scheme,” Mwangi said.

But the scheme was only able to make Sh24 million monthly against pensions amounting to Sh73 million for 10,000 members.

Since then, Mwangi said the scheme has not been able to break even and has been defaulting on their payments for months.

This, he said, is even after selling some of the properties and renting out commercial buildings.

“The scheme has not been able to liquefy its assets to pay our dues, and we are unable to follow up and find out what’s happening,” he said.

The scheme’s board comprises three government appointees, three appointees of KRC and three members, he said, a structure which does not serve the pensioners.

The retirees want a small amount of their pension paid every month rather than wait for one year.

Over the years, so many members have died, especially due to the poor quality of their lives, Mwangi said.

“By 2008, 282 people had died, 314 in 2009 and 319 in 2010. This is when we raised the alarm and the scheme stopped releasing the records,” he said.

KRSBS owns 139 acres of prime land in Makongeni, which the government has been eyeing for affordable housing projects.

It also has 20 acres in Landmawe, 35 acres in Muthurwa, eight acres at Goodshed (Easy Coach area) and eight acres at the Kenya Railways headquarters.

“If the scheme is unable to pay us, how does it pay supervisory fees to Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA), auditors, administrators, and an investment manage?” he wondered.

Edited by A.N