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Retirement Benefits Authority’s data shows pension coverage on the rise

Kenya has the highest pension coverage in the region, notwithstanding 80 percent of the country’s labour force lies in the informal sector.

The country also boasts 1, 287 registered retirement benefit schemes with a membership of 1.7 million members.

However, Retirement Benefits says the number is still low.

“Pension coverage had risen to around 22 per cent of the labour force at the end of 2019, from 20 per cent in 2018. This affirms that we are well on our way towards achieving our strategic plan objective of increasing pension coverage to 30 per cent of the labour force by 2024,” RBA’s chief executive Nzomo Mutuku told Nation.

“Retirement benefits assets increased from KSh1.16 trillion ($11.6 billion) in December 2018 to KSh 1.32 trillion ($13.2 billion) in December 2019, despite a number of economic shocks during the year,” he added.

The East Africa Common Market Protocol underlines the need for partner states to “co-ordinate and harmonise their social policies to promote and protect decent work and improve the living conditions of the citizens for the development of the Common Market”.

In Kenya, over 3.2 million people are registered in some form of pension scheme. In Uganda, pension schemes cover slightly under two million people, and in Tanzania only about 2.1 million workers are covered.

There are about 40 schemes in Rwanda, but by 2018 only 12 were registered with the National Bank of Rwanda. With most workers in the informal sector, only about one per cent are saving for retirement.

Burundi has a mandatory pension scheme for for formal sector employees.


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