Most teachers can't afford to retire — Union

Knut vice chairman says they are unable to plan for retirement 'because of the meagre salaries'

In Summary

• HR director says teachers request two or three extra years because they don't plan before retirement age. 

• Knut official says teachers' payslips are too small to plan for retirement. 

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
Image: FILE

Most teachers have no exit strategy and request more years in service when they reach their retirement age.

The Teachers Service Commission HR director Josephine Maundu on Thursday advised teachers to start planning for their retirement at age 55.

The legal retirement age for civil servants is 60.

 “We seem not to be managing the exit well. You need to be prepared to exit. I’ve been seeing a number of teachers seeking to remain in the service after age 60,"  Maundu said.

She spoke during the fourth day of the 44th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association annual conference in Mombasa. 

He said most teachers who attain retirement age write to the TSC requesting two or three more years because they have projects that are unfinished and will need finances.

“I want to discourage that," she said.

Maunda told principals to encourage the teachers in their schools to plan for retirement.

However, Kenya National Union of Teachers national vice chairman Collin Oyuu said it is hard for teachers to plan for their exit because they earn so little.

Oyuu said teachers want to properly plan for their futures but are held back by the meagre salaries.

“How can we prepare for retirement? Our payslips are overburdened,” Oyuu said.

Maundu also cautioned teachers against changing the accounts through which they receive their pension when they retire.

She noted that some staff have been colluding with unscrupulous bank employees to divert pension money belonging to the teacher to different accounts, creating problems in the process.

How can we prepare for retirement? Our payslips are overburdened
Knut vice chairman Collins Oyuu

Maudu said that as a deterrent, the TSC has resolved to pay pension money to the same account through which teachers used to receive their salaries.

“Don't change your bank account within the last six months as you plan for your exit so you can help us control the risk of your money being diverted to the wrong account,” she said. 

All those who have received notice to retire in the next one year should retain their bank accounts, the HR director said.

Maundu said the commission has not been remitting the Sh500 Kessha contribution for some teachers because of over-commitment of their salaries.

She said some of the principals have so many loans and other deductions that deducting the Sh500 for Kessha will violate the one-third rule.

The law says an employee should have at least a third of his or her salaries going to their bank accounts.

“As you make decisions, you should also help us know which of your loans are we going to reduce and get your Sh500 so that Kessha doesn’t think we do not implement your resolutions, yet your payslips have no ability to accommodate the Sh500 deduction."

But Oyuu said the over-commitment of payslips has been brought about by poor salary policies that teachers are forced to contend with.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)