National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has warned employees saving with the fund to desist from withdrawing their savings at 45 years ‘because it’s risky.’
The current NSSF Act allows workers to access their benefits when they clock 55 years. However, in April, Cabinet made some proposals to allow savers to access their NSSF savings at the age of 45.
While addressing NSSF members/savers during the NSSF Money Talk Conference in Kampala on Monday Byarugaba urged them to avoid accessing their retirement benefits at the ‘early age of 45’ in order to avoid mismanaging it.
“If Parliament endorses Cabinet’s proposal, the NSSF policy will change. But I encourage you to keep your savings till you clock 55 years. Allowing savers to withdraw money at the age of 45 will be a disservice to them since their money will not fulfil its purpose of guaranteeing a comfortable retirement plan,” said Byarugaba.
According to a study conducted by NSSF two years back, 98 per cent of people who received their retirement benefits blew it within two years, which in turn affected their old age plans.
“At 45 years, a person still has a lot of responsibilities like school fees, health bills and other non-profit expenditures. These should be catered for by 95 per cent of your salary. The 5 per cent of the money you save with NSSF is for your retirement. To make matters worse most of the members that want to access their funds have not planned properly for their retirement benefits,” he added.
Alex Muhangi, 68, a former civil servant who now runs a poultry farm in Ntungamo District told Watchdog Uganda that receiving savings at 45 years will not benefit the savers. This is mainly because at 45 years, most people are still very strong and able to work.
“This is the money one gets after retiring. At 55 I believe one is able to plan. I received my NSSF package at 65 years, I was able to use it faithfully but at 45 years, I would have wasted it,” said Muhangi.
Keith Kalyegira, the Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Director advised the beneficiaries who are about to receive their benefits to be aware of fraudsters as they go about investing in capital markets. He also urged them to always seek out the advice of professional financial advisers before they make any move in business.
“There are investments that are high risk but give high returns while others are low risk but also give low returns. Making an investment decision depends on someone’s income and age” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Pius Muchiri, Managing Director Nabo Capital who was the keynote speaker at the conference advised Ugandans to focus more on creating investments that can offer them passive income instead of depending on active income from monthly salaries.
“One per cent of the richest people in the world do not depend on salaries to cater to their immediate needs. They have made investments that bring in money even without any input from the investors. These may include rentals dividends, capital markets shares, bonds among others,” he said.