BY BANKERS REPORTER
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has paid out sh78.8 billion to 4,417 eligible members to date, UGX 20.8 billion above its weekly target of sh50 billion, following mass application of the mid term benefit that started last week.
Speaking to media, the NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said that the payments reaffirmed the Fund’s commitment to avail liquidity to pay all midterm benefit obligations within the stipulated period.
“We committed to payment of sh50 billion per week starting on March 17, 2022. So far, we have paid above our weekly target by over Ushs28.8 billion. This implies we have paid 30% of the total members who have applied for midterm within the first one week since we commenced payments,” he said.
This is in addition to sh3.29 billion the Fund paid to 304 claimants as a test run a few days after launch of the exercise.
“Whereas Regulations prescribe payment of Midterm Benefit within 45 working days, we commit to pay qualifying members in a timely manner on a weekly basis, before the prescribed timelines. We have demonstrated this commitment in these first 2 weeks,” Byarugaba added.
NSSF earmarked sh1 trillion for payment of the Mid term benefit under Section 20A of the NSSF Amendment Act 2022, following the President’s assent to it and subsequent gazetting in January.
A total of 14,690 applications amounting to sh305 billion, were received by the Fund since it started the process on 7th March. 8,697 of the applications were received at the Fund’s branch network and the temporary set-up at Kololo airstrip while 5,993 were received online via its self- service platforms.
Byarugaba explained that the Fund had trained and deployed over 80 staff members specifically to attend to walk-in customers in addition to the self-service options.
Eligible members for the Midterm benefit as per section 20A of the National Social Security Fund Act, 2022 are defined as;
- A member who is forty-five years of age and above and who has made contributions to the fund for at least ten years, will be eligible to midterm access to his or her benefits, of a sum not exceeding 20 percent of his or her accrued benefits; and
- A member who is a person with disability is forty years of age and above, and has made contributions to the fund for at least ten years, will be eligible to midterm access, of a sum of 50 percent of his or her accrued benefits.
Furthermore, in line with the regulations for the National Social Security Fund (Midterm Access to Benefits) Regulations 2022, eligible members for the benefit must have at least 120 monthly contributions with the Fund and may opt to apply for his benefits in installments agreed upon with the fund.
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Byarugaba also clarified that the self-service options had stabilized following recent complaints of system errors where some members had failed to submit their claims online. Applications can be made through mobile phone (on MTN and Airtel networks) which is applicable for qualifying members whose balances are below sh15 million and online web platform applicable for members with balances above sh15 million, in addition to the Fund’s branches.
“We have seen a few complaints regarding the time it takes to release the money from the Fund and the time individual member bank accounts are credited. We would like to clarify that depending on the efficiency of the bank, this process takes between 1 to 2 days.” Byarugaba concluded.