38% of Uganda debt is owed to NSSF- Byarugaba


Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba.

The National Social Security Fund [NSSF] holds 38% of Uganda’s total debt, according to the fund’s Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba.

Speaking at the annual general meeting held at Kampala Serena hotel on Wednesday, Byarugaba said the fund’s target for 2016 is to grow revenue from Shs780bn to Shs900bn.

“The year was challenging, our economy sadly grew lower than the estimate due to conditions outside Uganda. However, despite those challenges our numbers increased. We had the best compliance rate in Uganda and brought in contributions of about Ushs. 74 billion,” Byarugaba said.

He said in the previous year, the fund size grew from Shs5.6 trillion to Shs6.6 trillion, a growth percentage of 20%.

“We paid benefits to 3% of dead members, 97% was paid to living members.”

He noted that the fund has been able to bring the interest rate down by participating in the market.

“We have continued to invest Ushs. 1.5 trillion of the funds outside of Uganda within the equity and bond markets, because of the return these markets have given us.”

The state minister for Finance (General duties), Gabriel Ajedra cheered members for ensuring management remains transparent and accountable.

“Earlier on the MD Mr. Richard Byarugaba, said that the fund hold 38% of Uganda’s Government debt. We shall try and reduce that borrowing.”

Stevens Mwanje, the head of sales and operations at NSSF, said the fund nearly has 1.7 million members.

Half of those are active. The level of compliance from employers is 78%.

“If your employer employs more than five employees, you and them are eligible to contribute to NSSF.”

He said NSSF was set up under the law and it is mandatory for one to be a member of NSSF.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you earn. Any employee can join NSSF. Social security is not about how much you earn.”

The fund invests the money in real estate, equity and property. Asset portfolio; 6%-8% land, 8% shares, the rest in fixed income.

“That is how we manage to give savers back their money with interest.”

He warned some employers who deduct money from employees but never remit it to NSSF.

“That is very unfortunate. We encourage employees to report. In instances where employers fail to remit, NSSF expects them to pay entire 15%. Affected employees should come to us.”

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