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SSRA, pension funds and other stakeholders to discuss agency`s new guidelines

19th December 2012
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Sarah Msika

The Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA), in collaboration with social security stakeholders, has started to work on the agency’s new proposed guidelines aimed at reducing members’ long time complaints.

Speaking to the press in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Sarah Msika, who is SSRA’s head of public relations and promotion, said the meetings are being convened this week to discuss two proposed guidelines.

She said the guidelines being discussed are on totalisation of contribution periods of social security schemes and membership registration slated for tabling in the coming parliamentary session.

“Today we have started with representatives from six pension funds who will look into how the proposed guidelines can be helpful to their members,” she said.

The pension funds which took part in the meeting yesterday were the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Parastatal Pensions Fund (PPF), Government Employee Provident Fund (GEPF), Local Authorities Provident Fund (LAPF), National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF).
She said similar meetings will be held today and would involve employers and trade unions later on.

According to her, all changes made in the proposed guidelines would be forwarded to the parliamentary committees responsible for Social Security before they are tabled and passed as an Act.
She said one of the roles and the functions of the social security regulatory agency are to protect and safeguard members’ interests, while ensuring that all social security schemes remain strong and sustainable.

If enacted, that would be six guidelines to be introduced by SSRA since its establishment few years ago.

Others are guidelines on data, board, investment and actuarial.
Explaining further, she said, when passed the two proposed guidelines would solve long time complaints relating to membership and fund contributions.

Citing, she said, there are pension funds which accept members who have contributed for over 10 years, while others accept contributors for 15 years.

In order for a member to qualify as a pensioner they have to contribute to a pension fund for the specified period.
She said the proposed totalisation of contribution periods guidelines would minimise or alleviate such problems.

It is estimated that there are over 10,000 pension fund members who have not qualified as pensioners in any of the funds.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN