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NOTU opposes Kasaija move to liberalize pension sector

 

FILE PHOTO: Minister Matia Kasaija reads out a previous budget. His moves to liberalize the pension sector are being opposed by NOTU 

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija will soon convene a stakeholders meeting to deliberate on the latest disagreements over liberalizing the pension sector.

The disagreements follow the re-tabling of the Uganda Retirement benefits sector liberalization bill 2011 before parliament seeking to end the monopoly of NSSF and allow private players join the pension market

Labor unions are opposing the move, saying it will expose workers to risks and that majority of the possible fund managers will be foreigners.

On Thursday, while appearing before the committee on finance chaired by Rubanda East Member of Parliament(MP) Henry Musasizi, Workers under their umbrella National Organization of Trade Union-NOTU threatened to boycott participating in the  May 1 Labor Day celebrations if the minister of Finance Matia Kasaija doesn’t withdraw the proposed bill to liberalize the pension sector.

According to NOTU secretary General Christopher Werikhe, opening up the pension sector will be putting “people’s benefits at risk of opportunists who may take advantage to steal people’s money especially when the economy worsens”.

The workers propose that if there are any new reforms they should be incorporated in the NSSF Act rather than dismantling NSSF.

Minister Kasaija however told the committee that most of the objectives of this bill have been misunderstood

“The problem is that the concepts are not understood by the stakeholders. I have called for a meeting to discuss and harmonize,” said Kasaija.

The Finance Ministry first moved the Retirement Benefits sector Liberalization bill to parliament in 2011 suggesting to open up the saving social security benefits to private sector and make it competitive to the benefit of workers.

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