New East Africa retirement policy in the pipeline

Retirement Benefits Authority Chief Executive Edward Odundo speaking at a press conference. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The draft is being handles by the Treasury and stakeholders.
  • Mr Edward Odundo said stakeholders want to come up with a guiding policy applicable in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa.

A draft bill is being prepared that could give birth to a National Retirement Benefit Policy, which would then become the official policy document for the six East African Community countries in future.

“The draft is being handled by the Treasury and stakeholders are contributing their input and aligning it with the country’s labour laws before it is taken to the Cabinet. We want to come up with a guiding policy that could apply throughout Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan,” said Retirement Benefits Authority chief executive Edward Odundo.

He spoke last week during an Alexander Forbes annual retirement conference in Kwale County.

Mr Odundo said a committee had also been set up by EAC member states to harmonise tax regime and retirement issues across the region.

“There should be a seamless retirement regime for pensioners in the region so that when they retire from any organisation in any of the six countries, they should be subjected to a standard tax, portability laws and other requirements,” he said.

Mr Odundo said the authority is also working towards a post-retirement medical scheme for all pensioners who will be legible for Sh3 million in-patient package and a Sh250,000 out-patient package per year.

“We are moving in this direction as per the healthcare agenda after seeing the maternal healthcare sector fairly successful. We also want to ask employers to encourage their workers to save more by marrying their systems with the government policy,” he said.

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