Year after year, there are continued allegations of fraud at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and members who contribute to the Fund get worried and frustrated.
That the current NSSF leadership has stayed clear of major corruption allegations should not mean it is time to relax.
Rather, the leadership has become more transparent, unveiling a web based whistleblower platform for aggrieved employees to report employers who fail to remit their contributions to the Fund, as required by the law.
Announcing the platform today, Mr. Richard Byarugaba, the managing director, NSSF Uganda, said more than 25,000 employers are meant to pay NSSF contributions. However, 12,000 of these are not complying and of the 13,000 who are complying, only 8,900 are consistently remitting NSSF contributions for their employees.
“These figures show that a significant number of workers are being cheated out of their benefits by their employers,” Byarugaba said.
“It is illegal for an employer to withhold their employees’ social security contributions. The campaign is aimed at empowering employees to be vigilant and speak out to ensure that their employers remit their savings to the Fund. We do believe that when employers are compliant, workers will have an opportunity to save for their retirement,” he said.
He noted that anonymity of the whistleblower was one of the main aspects of the platform that was put into consideration during its design. “The safety of any whistleblower is of utmost importance, we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that the identity of whoever reports cases of non-compliance is not revealed to the public, in line with the Whistleblower’s Act.”
According to the NSSF Act 1985 Section 11 (1), all employers with five or more employees are required to remit monthly contributions for their employees within 15 days, following the last day of the month for which the relevant wages are paid. The employers deduct 5 per cent of their workers salary and top it up with a 10 per cent contribution and remit the 15 per cent to the Fund for every employee.
The latest financial year results released by the Fund indicate that the number of new employees registering with the Fund has increased from 106,434 in the 2014/15 to 119,571 in the last financial year. Added to that, the number of new employers registering their workers with the NSSF grew by 2,887 in the 2015/16 financial year. The Fund currently has a total of more than 25,000 employers on record and 1.6 million individual members.
In the financial year 2015/16, the Fund’s contributions increased by 14% to shs785 billion from shs688 billion in 2014/15 albeit with unsatisfactory compliance ratings. The Fund projects that contributions will reach the shs900 billion mark this financial year if the compliance levels are improved, among other things.
Through different channels like Website, SMS, Kiosks, emails and NSSF app, members can check their statements and find out if their money is being remitted on a monthly basis and in the right amount. In order to report an employer who is not remitting contributions, an employee can log onto www.nssfug.org or call 0417331557/07.