The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) has just released its full year report in which it reveals that for the first time ever, the country’s pension scheme, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has been beatenin terms of portfolio size by a Private Fund manager Pinebridge which now commands a whopping 27.6% market share at 156 billion compared to NSSF’s 136 billion.
These are no good news to the Kenyan workers and no doubt a worrying trend to workers particularly coming at a time when the government is pushing for the full implementation of the new NSSF Act 2013 that will see every salaried Kenyan contribute to the NSSF, a Fund that is now nose-diving at every sunrise and unless deliberate measures are taken, chances of NSSF eventually sinking with the Kenyan workers’ money are now eminent.
The Central Organisation of Trade Union, COTU (K) has time and again reiterated its calls to the government to initiate deliberate measures aimed at bringing on minimum reforms at the NSSF in terms of its management and investment policy but our calls remain largely ignored and the end results have been a fund that is riddled and dogged with massive financial scandals leading to poor performance in terms of its assets’ growth coupled with corruption and overall misappropriate of the members’ contributions.
To this end, it would be hard if not impossible for the management of the NSSF and the government to convince every salaried worker in the country to join a scheme that continues to show no sign of improving nor reforms and still in the armpit of business-as-usual when private fund managers like Pinebridge continue to aggressively adapt to emerging market dynamics and diversity including its investment policy that is largely in government securities compared to the NSSF that is still stuck or equities and real estates.
As Kenyan Workers who contribute to the NSSF, we are increasingly losing confidence in the NSSF and with the release of the now full year report by the Retirement Benefits Authority, (RBA) workers will have every reason to remain skeptical as far as the management of their funds is concerned and unless their calls for reforms at NSSF are listened to, soon they may considered reviewing their support towards the NSSF.
Francis Atwoli, EBS, MBS