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NSSF extends deadline

28 May 2013, 09:51

Nairobi - Domestic workers and their employees have received a 30 day extension to register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as part of an on-going amnesty to enforce the mandatory requirement to register domestic workers.

Ahead of the earlier deadline, which had been set for this Friday, the NSSF has swiftly moved to push the deadline to June 30th due to what the fund described as an overwhelming public response.

Speaking in his office, NSSF Managing Trustee Tom Odongo said the fund had considered and accepted calls to extend the looming deadline as domestic workers and their employers’ alike, rush to register with the fund.

The extension of the amnesty deadline, Odongo disclosed will facilitate the registration of more than 2 million-targeted members.

“The main objective for extending this amnesty was to encourage the registration of domestic workers and we have continued to receive passionate requests to consider extending the deadline. Given that our objective is to facilitate all employees and employers to abide with the law, NSSF has positively responded to these request,” Odongo explained.

And added: “Ours is not an attempt to harass or intimidate the employers and employees and this we formally attest through the extended amnesty.”

At the same time, Odongo has confirmed that NSSF is targeting to reduce its benefits settlement turnaround period from the current 7-10 days to less than 5 days in coming months.

Commencing September this year, the fund, he added would also start providing a statement of account slip to its members through various convenient dispatch platforms including an online and SMS system.

Following the integration of automated systems at the fund, efforts, Odongo disclosed are now underway to enhance the benefits settlement turnaround period.

Already, NSSF, he said has unveiled an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) system to facilitate the settlement of members benefits direct to their respective bank accounts. For members who do not currently hold a bank account, NSSF, Odongo disclosed has also collaborated with the National Bank of Kenya to facilitate the opening of ledger accounts.

Relating to the mandatory registration of members, Odongo reiterated that elaborate plans have been, drawn to enforce the mandatory requirement to expand social security coverage to all employees as per constitutional (Section 43) requirements.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse and this means that, employers of domestic workers are required by law to register them with NSSF and remit their contributions or risk legal action.”

The on-going amnesty and registration campaign across NSSF offices and through the fund’s website (www.nssf.or.ke/members) Odongo disclosed is, expected to facilitate the registration of an estimated 3 million workers.

Ahead of the exercise, NSSF has also set up a toll free telephone numbers 2713009, 2713010, 2713012, to be, used by workers wishing to verify their status or lodge complaints/report their employers who have failed to remit their dues.

Upon registration, the respective employers will be, expected to remit NSSF monthly contributions currently amounting to Kshs 400 to facilitate the domestic workers social security cover. The cover, Odongo pointed out, will afford domestic workers a number of statutory benefits and grants including the age, invalidity and survivors benefits; affording them equal dignity to formal sector workers in their old age.

Failure to provide an expanded Social Security product under NSSF in coming years, he said would be tantamount to encouraging discrimination for various sectors of the economy that are currently neither covered by NSSF nor by private schemes.

As a statutory fund, NSSF is, mandated to register members, collect contributions, invest the contributions and pay specified benefits and currently counts, 1.5million, active members largely drawn from workers in the formal sector of the economy.

The NSSF defined scheme is, financed entirely by the employer/employee monthly contributions set at 10% of wages based on a current ceiling of Kshs 400per month.

- News24


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