National Social Security Fund paid out over shs75.5bn to 6,489 eligible members in the Northern region, in the last financial year 2022/23, according to the Fund’s performance report. This is about 6% of the total number of members the Fund paid benefits to in that period.
Addressing employers at Hotel Bomah in Gulu, Patrick Ayota NSSF Managing Director explained that the overall benefits paid out to eligible members during that period generally increased albeit by 1% from UGX1.189 trillion in FY 21/22 to UGX 1.199 trillion in 2022/23.
“These payouts demonstrate that your savings are safe with the Fund and can be accessed upon qualification.” He said.
“On average all these benefits payouts were processed within 11 days. We know that this turnaround time is still higher than anticipated, due to our new core system that isn’t yet being optimized and the delayed verification from the external partners, but it is still a great improvement over the last ten years when we used to process benefits in 105 days,” he said.
In addition, Ayota said that the Fund had generally posted a remarkable performance on almost all the Key Performance Indicators in the FY2022/23 despite a challenging environment characterized by turmoil in Europe due to the Russia -Ukraine war, the investor flight from most of the developing markets back to the US, reduction in value across all East African stock markets and the increased scrutiny that the Fund underwent in the 3rd quarter of the just concluded Financial year.
“Our revenue increased by 15% from Ugx 1.9 trillion to Ugx 2.2 trillion for the Financial Year ended while our assets under management increased from Ugx 17.26 trillion in Financial Year 2021/22 to Ugx 18.56 trillion in Financial Year 2022/23. It is therefore against this background that a 10% interest rate was declared for the financial year, translating into a total of 1.591 trillion credited on member accounts recently.”
Ayota further explained that the Fund had started initiatives to help increase the willingness and capacity of Ugandans to save in line with its new strategic approach dubbed Vision 2035. This strategic plan is aimed at increasing social security coverage to 50% of the working population among other things. The Fund was doing this through financial literacy programs and creating jobs through its entrepreneurship program, Hi-innovator.
“We have also upgraded our web-based whistleblower portal to enable members to report defaulting employers in a seamless manner and ultimately increase the compliance rate to 60% in this financial year 2023/24. This initiative will help drive the willingness to save with the Fund through empowering of our members.” Ayota concluded.
Employers also received advice on retirement planning during the engagement. Geoffrey Sajjabi, NSSF Chief Commercial Officer advised workers to consider constructing their residential houses before they retire to avoid depleting their NSSF savings on such unprofitable ventures, among other things.