President Yoweri Museveni has declined to sign the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2022 into law citing the proposed increase of the government’s contribution to the Fund.
The Bill that was giving rights Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff mid-term access to their savings was passed by parliament on 8th September 2022.
“I have been advised by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development that the Bill which was presented to them for assessment of its financial implication did not include amendments to increase the contribution of Government to the fund from 30% to 40%. The Bill that has been presented to me for assent provides for that increment,” reads part of Museveni’s letter to Speaker, Anita Among.
Museveni adds that he has also been informed that the appropriate quantum for contribution can only be determined by an actuarial valuation of the Parliamentary Pensions Scheme.
“In view of the above, I am returning the Bill to Parliament for reconsideration as per Article 91 (3) (b) of the Constitution,” further reads the President’s letter dated 13th October 2022.
The letter was received by the Office of the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday, 25th October 2022, and Speaker Among has directed the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson to reconsider the Bill and report back immediately after the House resumes. Parliament has been on recess for one month and it is scheduled to resume business next week on Tuesday.
The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2022, is a private Member’s Bill that was tabled by Workers’ MP, Arinaitwe Rwakajara.
It allows pension scheme members who have saved for 10 years and reached the age of 45 years, 20 percent mid-term access to their savings.
The Bill’s approval came just after months since Parliament approved the same mid-term access under the National Social Security Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in November 2021. NSSF is a provident Fund covering all employees in the private sector including Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that are not covered by the government’s pension scheme.
The Bill also allows members to make voluntary monthly contributions to the Parliamentary Post-Retirement Medical Fund not exceeding 2 percent of total contributions to the scheme.