September 13—The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has partnered with MTN Uganda, the country’s biggest telecom, to enable contributors, especially those from the informal sector, to make direct payments to NSSF through mobile money. To use the service, members have to key in *165*3*4# and follow the prompts.
“This partnership will make our services much better. Our members on the voluntary scheme and the small entities who contribute less than UGX4 million (about$1100) can now easily make their contributions at their own convenience using MTN mobile money,” Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director said during a news conference.
The voluntary membership plan was launched three months ago. Byarugaba said since the scheme was launched, the Fund had registered over 4370 new contributors hence the need to help this increasing numbers make contributions in a more efficient and convenient way.
MTN Uganda CEO, Win Vanhelleputte said the partnership was another step towards fostering financial inclusion through easing payment processes for pensions that are critical to limit poverty in old age.
“For the past years, MTN mobile money service has been impacting people’s lives in tremendous ways. Helping them to contribute for pension fund in a better and convenient way is another way of fulfilling our customers’ needs so that they do not retire into poverty,” Vanhelleputte said.
NSSF is a national saving scheme mandated by the government through the National Social Security Fund Act to provide social security services to employees in Uganda.
It was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1985 to provide for its membership, payment of contributions to, and payment of benefits out of the Fund. Latest figures show NSSF assets now stand at $2.2 billion as of June this year and it is the largest institutional shareholder in Umeme, Uganda’s electricity distributor, among other investments.
NSSF is a provident fund (pays out contributions in lump sum). It covers all employees in the private sector including non-Governmental Organizations, that are not covered by the government’s pension scheme. It is a scheme instituted for the protection of employees against the uncertainties of social and economic life. The employer must deduct 5% from the employees total gross monthly wage and add 10% of the total gross monthly wage making a total contribution of 15%.
Byarugaba advised more Ugandans, who are in private businesses,to take advantage of this opportunity and register with NSSF so that they can guarantee their future.
On the issue of security, Vanhelleputte clarified that MTN mobile money has been modified over years and is now the most secure way of sending, receiving and making payments.