President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is keen on implementing new salary and pension structures that will see politicians and government officials losing a number of benefits.[File, Standard] By Lee Mwiti and Macharia Kamau
Cabinet secretaries whose terms are not renewed may not enjoy retirement benefits if an amendment to the pensions law goes through in Parliament.
The amendment will increase the number of years a State officer must serve to be eligible for pension from five to 10 years. ALSO READ: Hefty send-off for leaders as Kenyans face tough times The amendment will also affect other civil servants who have been employed on permanent and pensionable terms but fail to remain on the Government payroll for the proposed minimum period of 10 years.
The proposal comes as President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to name his new Cabinet, with some of the CSs that served during his first term in office expected to lose their jobs. In a public notice released yesterday, the National Assembly invited Kenyans to give their input to the proposal contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 3) Bill 2017.
Give comments Through the notice, Parliament invited Kenyans to give comments on the pensions law amendment proposal and other amendments contained in the bill. The public has until Friday, December 8 to submit their views to the National Assembly. At the moment, State officers are required to work for a minimum of five years before they are entitled to retirement benefits, which are then payable after reaching the retirement age of 60 years.
“Where an officer has completed five years of pensionable service, the benefits accruing to the officer under this act shall vest in that officer and shall become payable,” reads the Pensions Act. At the same time, Parliament is expected to deliberate on the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Act No 10 of 2011. ALSO READ: House business bound to suffer as NASA, Jubilee flex muscles In the public notice published by Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai yesterday, the 12th House is expected to start debate on the bill which, among other things, will push for the amendment of the SRC Act to give SRC commissioners full-time jobs.
This is as opposed to the current trend where the commissioners are employed on part-time terms and only earn allowances. “Apart from seeking to amend the act to have commissioners serve on a full-time basis, the bill further wants to delete sub-sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Section 7, which relate to the formation of a selection panel under procedure of nominating a commissioner and allow the President to nominate his choice for chairperson in accordance with Article 230(2) of the Constitution,” read the notice.
Full employment The move to award SRC commissioners full employment comes just when the commission, led by Sarah Serem, has begun to follow up a pay review for all State employees in an effort to save the Government Sh8.8 billion in salaries. Salaries paid to all ranks of elected leaders — such as the President and his deputy, governors and elected representatives at the national and county levels — will be fixed for their term and will not be increased every year as is currently the case.
The same review by SRC will affect salaries for the speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly, their deputies as well as the majority and minority leaders of both houses. ALSO READ: Kenyan MPs set for impressive outing in Dar es Salaam For those elected or recruited competitively after SRC released the reviewed salaries rules, the new pay structures were applied immediately.