KAMPALA – Spekaer of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed both the Parliamentary Committees of Finance and Gender to expediate the process of scrutinizing the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Amendment Bill to allow House make an expedition decision on having savers access their funds during the Coronavirus crisis.
During Wednesday’s plenary sitting, Kadaga noted that the NSSF Amendment Bill 2019 has been sitting in Parliament shelves since August 3, 2019, when it was first read before the August House.
She has given both committees ten days to finalize the scrutiny of the Bill so that parliament can start debate and pass it.
In seeking amendments to the bill, government argued that the policy behind the it is to expand social security coverage by making contributions mandatory for all workers in the formal sector and also allowing workers in
the formal and informal sectors to make voluntary contributions.
Government defended its position to amend the bill arguing that the current law was enacted in 1985 and does not adequately address emergency challenges in the management of social security in Uganda.
In addition, whereas the filing of annual returns by employers is important for purposes of monitoring workers’ contributions, failure to
do so is not an offence under the Act. Therefore, ensuring compliance
in the absence of legal sanctions is difficult.
Government also argued that the fines of Shs10,000 in the Act can no longer serve the purpose for which they were imposed.
Government in section 10 of the proposed bill seeks to insert a new clause in section 24A to provide for voluntary benefits with the bill highlighting, “A member who has made voluntary contributions to the
Fund shall be allowed midterm access to his or her benefits on such terms and conditions and in a manner prescribed by regulations.”