Battle over NSSF’s directive to increase monthly deductions heads to Supreme Court 

The National Social Security Fund’s (NSSF) move to increase monthly deductions to KES 2,160 has hit another roadblock after it was challenged at the Supreme Court.

On Friday, February 17, the County Pensioners Association filed a petition before the highest court in the land seeking to have the directive overturned.

The increased deduction is being supported by President William Ruto’s administration, which is seeking to create a savings culture among Kenyans. However, the lobby group argues that workers would be the most affected by the new directive, as other employers had better pension schemes, leading them to opt out of NSSF.

“Workers will suffer substantial and irreparable harm (including but not limited to a run on pension schemes superior to the NSSF) unless this court stops the implementation of the disputed Act pending the hearing and determination of the Applicant’s appeal,” the petition read.

The County Pensioners Association also requested the Supreme Court to immediately halt NSSF’s directive, as the new deductions were scheduled to be implemented with February salaries. The group argued that the pensions industry would suffer enormous and irreversible chaos, harm, and damage if the NSSF Act of 2013 was implemented.

Furthermore, the lobby group accused the Court of Appeal, which upheld the enforcement of the 2013 Act, of being inconsiderate to workers. However, despite opposition from workers’ groups, Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli supported the new deductions, stating that the employees would benefit.

“Many workers have only been contributing to and receiving funds from the provident fund, which is a lump sum payment that workers have been receiving at a go (Tier 1 – provident fund),” Atwoli explained.

A ruling from the Court of Appeal supported NSSF’s Act of 2013 that proposed to increase the monthly deductions from KES 200 to KES 2,160. The pension fund issued a statement saying the directive would be implemented beginning February 2023, with employees paying half of the new rate.

The County Pensioners Association’s move to challenge the directive is not the first opposition to the proposed increment. The Federation of Kenyan Employers has also voiced its objection to the move saying pension is an ’employee-employer’ affair.

Previously, trade unions and workers’ groups had opposed the increased deductions, citing poor benefits for retirees and a lack of transparency in the management of NSSF funds.




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