NSSF declares 11% interest rate for 2018/2019 financial year

By Deo Wasswa
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has today declared an interest rate of 11% for the Financial Year 2018/2019 to its members, over and above the 10 year average rate of inflation now at 6.71%.

This was announced by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, during the Fund’s 7th Annual Members Meeting at Serena Hotel.

The interest declared is lower than last year’s 15% interest due to a decline in regional equity prices and strengthening of the Uganda shilling, which affected the valuation of the Fund’s holdings in all foreign currency balances and equity valuations, thus impacting the Fund’s over all income.

“The stock exchanges in East Africa, and generally in the whole of Africa suffered significant reduction in value of the listed entities, affecting entities like the Fund that invests regionally,” the Minister said.

The new rate translates into UGX 978 billion and will be calculated and credited on the balance outstanding on the members accounts as of 1st July 2018, in accordance with provisions of the NSSF Act.

“Although lower than what I declared last year, the rate I have declared today is higher than 6.7% – the 10 year average rate of inflation, the Fund’s benchmark. It is also higher than annual inflation of 3.4% recorded last Financial Year,” he said.

“Most important, the Fund has paid its members a real return, thus eliminating the risk of erosion of the value of their saving as a result of inflation.

NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said that in spite of the difficult investment environment, the Fund performed over and above most performance targets.

“Overall, we created value for our members. In fiscal year 2012/2013, we committed to pay members a real return – at least 2% above the 10 year inflation. We have consistently delivered on this promise and have done so again this year,” he said.

NSSF Board Chairman, Patrick Byabakama reassured members that the Fund was on a growth trajectory, having grown its assets under management by 13.6% from UGX9.9Trillion in the previous financial year to UGX11.3 trillion in 2018/2019.

He also said that the Fund’s focus going forward will be to conclude the Real Estate projects as well as innovations to be responsive to needs of the members that will be occasioned by the proposed NSSF Amendment Bill.

NSSF hits the Ugx 100 billion mark in June 2017

By Wasswa Deo

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has collected more than Ugx 100 billion in contributions from its members in the month of June 2017, the Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has confirmed.

It is the first time that the Fund has hit the Ugx 100 billion mark in contributions in a single month. The previous highest mark was Ugx 85 billion that was collected in June 2016.

“This UGX100 billion plus contributions collection performance in a single month is the best ever in the history of the Fund. 2016/17 has been a challenging financial year, but we have come through with yet another collections milestone that is above our monthly collections target of Ugx 77 billion. I applaud all staff at the Fund for their tireless efforts,” he said.

Byarugaba added that he is optimistic the Fund will better last year’s overall financial performance, in spite of the challenges the economy faced in the just concluded financial year, which have had an effect on the business environment.

As a result, the Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development Matia Kasaija declared an interest rate of 12.3% interest, worth over Ugx 606 billion credited to NSSF members’ accounts.

Byarugaba could not confirm the new interest rate that the Fund will pay, but said that it will be declared by the Minister, in accordance with the NSSF Act.

The declaration by the Minister will happen possibly in September this year and will depend on how well the Fund has performed. However, he confirmed that the rate will not be less than the 10 year average rate of inflation plus 2 percentage points, which is in line with the FUND’s commitment to pay its members a real return.

NSSF invests in fixed income, real estate and equities. It is the largest institutional investor on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and one of the largest domestic holders of Government of Uganda debt.

NSSF recovers 1.8Bn shillings through online whistle blowers page

By Wasswa Deo

The ongoing whistle-blower campaign by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has recovered over Shs1.8 billion .

Last month, the NSSF unveiled a new web-based whistle-blower platform for aggrieved employees to report employers who fail to remit their contributions to the Fund, as required by the law.

The Head Marketing and Communications, Barbra Teddy Arimi, says, up to 90% of the cases received were through the NSSF Whistle-blower platform, hence it is one of the Fund’s most effective tools to increase compliance levels and recover billions of employees’ contributions meant for their retirement.

According to her, more than 25,000 employers are meant to pay NSSF contributions. However, 12,000 of these are not complying and of the 13,000 who are complying, only 8,900 are consistently remitting NSSF contributions for their employees.

A total of 149 cases received over the last 4 months, January recorded the most cases at 55, followed by October (27).

She added that this is a continuous campaign, urging employees to continue being vigilant and speak out to ensure that their employers remit their savings to the Fund.