Africa-Press – Uganda. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has revealed plans to expedite pay-outs to eligible savers for the mid-term benefits through Mobile Money and banks subject to the beneficiaries’ preference.
The workers saving’s Fund managing director, Mr Richard Byarugaba, in a circular issued on Monday to the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) indicated that they are working with the telecom companies—mobile money service providers—to help in the validation process of phone numbers and also need to embark on similar arrangements with banks to validate bank account details.
“The payment process requires all beneficiaries to express their preferred payment method and confirm that they are the rightful owners of the chosen mobile money or bank account, depending on the option chosen,” the circular reads in part.
According to the telecoms regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as at July 2020, there were seven mobile money service providers in the country.
Mr Byarugaba, further advised UBA—the umbrella organisation for financial institutions licensed and supervised by Bank of Uganda—to notify banking institutions about the new plan to embark on the process of “electronically validating bank accounts for qualifying members” and for banks to allocate resources for the validation process to “make mid-term access as smooth as possible.”
The move comes in the wake of President Museveni assenting to the long-awaited NSSF (Amendment) Act, 2021 that allows mid-term access by some savers of 20 percent of their pensions. The pay-outs are expected to start in two months after gazetting the law this week on Saturday (January 15th).
NSSF indicated that some 93,000 Ugandans, who are 45 years and older, and have saved for at least a decade, are eligible for mid-term access.
The Fund indicated previously that some Shs900 billion would be paid out as part of the initiative first mooted in 2020 to cushion workers, many of whom were affected by the back-to-back lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The NSSF Bill was eventually passed by the 10th Parliament on February 17, 2021, before it was returned to the House by President Museveni and later re-tabled by the 11th Parliament after the lapse of business of the previous Parliament.