The National Social Security Fund on Monday launched a plan that gives employers and workers who are not compelled by law to save with the fund an opportunity to do so voluntarily.
NSSF also introduced a mobile phone platform – the *254# USSD code – through which it will receive voluntary savings.
NSSF is a provident fund charged by the government to provide social security services to private sector employees in Uganda. All employers with five or more employees are required to remit monthly contributions for their employees within 15 days. Employers deduct 5% of the worker’s salary and top it up with a 10% contribution, remitting the 15% to NSSF.
While addressing journalists at Worker’s House in Kampala Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, said the move was prompted by the need for a voluntary savings option by workers. Mr Byarugaba said the move also fits into the fund’s growth strategy.
“Under these provisions, we will recruit and register employers with less than 5 employees as well as accept contributions from former NSSF members whom we paid their respective benefits but are still able and willing to save with us,” Mr Byarugaba said.
Mr Byarugaba said there is a potential customer base of close to 2 million workers who do not have any form of social security cover, out of 4 million Ugandans employed in the formal sector.
NSSF has tested the plan, he said, and received positive feedback.
“As at end of May 2017 we had recruited 3,017 voluntary employers, and have collected over Shs2.6bn,” said Mr Byarugaba.
A survey by the fund also established that 19% of workers in the formal sector – about 836,000 people – who do not have social security cover would join the fund if it launched a voluntary membership plan.
In addition, NSSF is targeting about 700,000 of its former members who currently have inactive accounts because their employers no longer remit contributions or are now self-employed.
In addition to receiving contributions, NSSF will also pay members who qualify for their benefits through mobile money via the NSSFGO code, *254#. The code is accessible to MTN and Airtel subscribers.
NSSF added 106,000 new members and over 2,800 employers in the 2016/17 financial year.