Zamara, a financial services group has urged the Government to spearhead the growth and further development of the pensions industry through bolder policy reforms.

Speaking at the opening of a 2-day Pension Conference organized by Zamara, Zamara Group CEO, Sundeep Raichura said, “The monetary limit on tax deductible pension contributions has remained at Ksh. 20,000 per month for the last 18 years and this needs to be significantly increased or removed to increase long term savings in the country. We can increase long term domestic savings critical to fuel economic growth and create jobs much faster if we implement bolder pension reforms of the type that several countries in Africa such as Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi had implemented.”

Raichura added that there is an urgent need to extend pension coverage to the uncovered informal sector especially with 85% of the workforce in the informal sector.

Also speaking at the Conference, Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) CEO Nzomo Mutuku said that whereas the pensions sector was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry still registered growth exceeding Ksh. 1.4 trillion. Mutuku also urged pension fund trustees and providers to consider innovating new products to enable Kenyans benefit from the favorable regulations implemented by RBA. He lauded pension trustees who had included provision for post-retirement medical savings in their schemes especially given the plight of retirees without medical cover. He also decried the lack of effective communication to pension fund members.

The 2-day conference was attended by more than 250 delegates including trustees from more than 100 retirement funds, regulators and industry players. The conference addressed critical issues on how pensions funds can thrive and be more impactful in a post COVID-19 world.