The President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 2nd January, 2022, assented to the NSSF (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the same accordingly became the NSSF (Amendment) Act, 2021.
The Act allows a member who is forty-five years of age and above and who has made contributions to the fund for at least ten years, eligible to mid-term access to his or her benefits, of a sum not exceeding 20% of his or her accrued benefits.
It also allows a Member who is a person with disability, is forty years of age and above and has made contributions to the fund for at least ten years, is eligible to mid-term access, of a sum of 50% of his or her accrued benefits.
According to the Minister of Gender Labour and Social Develoment Hon Amongi Betty Ongom, the NSSF (Amendment) Act shall come into force upon publication in the Uganda Gazette in the coming days.
Amongi told a media briefing today, that she will inform the country as soon as this critical action has been implemented.
Meanwhile, the provision regarding midterm access to benefits by qualifying members of the Fund shall come into effect after the minister has issued a statutory instrument that will guide on the terms and conditions, and procedures for accessing benefits.
“I am required by the Act to issue this instrument and lay the same before Parliament for information within 60 DAYS AFTER publication of the Act in the Uganda Gazette. My Ministry is in advanced stages of drafting Regulations. I am confident that we will meet the timelines mentioned in the Act” said Amongi.
She noted that the Act provides immense opportunities to the Fund, the workers, and the entire country. For instance, the Minister says there is expansion of the basic social security coverage in Uganda, where every worker is now eligible to save with the Fund, every Employer, as defined in the Act, is now obliged to contribute to the NSSF for their workers, irrespective of the number employed and every worker can voluntarily save with the Fund, over and above the mandatory 15% contributions.
It also comes with enhancement of adequacy of social security benefits, in a sense that the NSSF Board of Directors now has a mandate to offer more social security benefits in accordance with Geneva Convention 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards), enabling product innovation to address the needs of a young population, and the Fund will have the mandate to innovate and introduce more products as required by its members.
The Minister urged all workers to embrace these opportunities, join the Fund and save for their retirement or a rainy day that we all experience in our lifetime.
Amongi says she has received assurances that the Fund is ready to implement the NSSF Amendment Act once the requisite procedures I have mentioned above have been undertaken. My Ministry, as the supervising body of the Fund, will ensure that the Act is implemented to the letter.