The Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) has praised the development in the country’s pension scheme, saying the sector has grown at an unprecedented rate of 20 per cent annually in the last five years.
URBRA says more growth and accumulation of funds would be realized if more workers were enrolled into pension schemes. As of June 2017, the authority had licensed 65 retirement benefits schemes and most of them target employees with formal jobs while some like Kacita and Mazima target informal businesses and farmers.
Martin Nsubuga, the acting chief executive officer, URBRA, said the sector today is worth Shs 10bn; with 180 schemes and 10 umbrella schemes.
“A couple of years ago, it was only National Social Security Fund (NSSF), public service and armed forces pension schemes. But today we have many pension schemes. This is a milestone and I believe this is the fastest-growing sector,” he said.
Nsubuga, who was speaking during the launch of Liaison Umbrella Fund, added that the asset base of the sector now stands at Shs 12.5 trillion. The sector contributes 11 per cent of the GDP, not far from other countries in the region. For instance, Kenya is at 14 per cent of its GDP and Tanzania at 11 per cent of GDP.
Nsubuga said: “It is only 15 per cent of the working population that is enrolled in different schemes. This means the penetration is still low. We want more companies to participate so that we can have more people secured for their retirement.”
Patricia Akot, the head of pensions at Liaison Financial Services Limited, said the sole objective of the Liaison Umbrella Fund was to customize and personalize individual retirement solutions.
“Our aim is to ensure individuals focus on their core business and look forward to retirement with knowledge that their money is safe and working for them,” she said.
Liaison stands as the oldest pension scheme administrator in the market having been present in Uganda since 1997 and has been involved in risk, insurance, pension and investment consulting. The Liaison Umbrella Fund has been operating since 2014 when it was licensed.