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LEGAL AID: Can I sue for pension benefits when I leave the company?

Wednesday August 7 2019

As an employee on a permanent contract, do I have the right to sue for pension benefits when I leave the organisation?

As an employee on a permanent contract, do I have the right to sue for pension benefits when I leave the organisation? PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH 

ERIC MUKOYA
By ERIC MUKOYA
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Dear Eric,

Thank you for your legal advice. It is much appreciated.

I work for a company where some people are in a pension scheme while most of us are not in the pension scheme except NSSF.

Recently, I stumbled upon this statement on the Retirement Benefits Authority website:

“If you are eligible, you have a right to the membership of your employer's pension scheme.”

Does this apply for my case?

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Secondly, as an employee on a permanent contract, do I have the right to sue for pension benefits when I leave the organisation?

I have been in the company for over five years now.

Thank you

Wandia

Answer

Dear Wandia,

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate that you are one among the many readers who are keen to understand the law in Kenya.

Your concern is important and revealing on the fears that most people have on matters of a secured retirement. Understanding the pension scheme environment in Kenya is important.

In Kenya, there are three types of Pension schemes: i) Pubic Pension Fund; ii) Occupational Pension Scheme; and iii) Individual Pension Plan.

The law regulates public pension scheme and both the employer and employee make mandatory statutory contributions.

Occupational Pension Scheme is sponsored by an employer and is only open to employees if eligible.

Individual Pension Plan, on the other hand, is offered by registered service providers and is open to everyone.

Your question relates to occupational pension scheme. Ordinarily, employers provide occupational pension to employees as a benefit.

In most cases, this benefit is provided for in the employment contract.

Therefore, you may need to have a second look at your contract.

If it doesn’t have it and you feel your omission from the list of beneficiaries is on the basis of discrimination, you may take up the issue first with your employer, and if need be, with the Retirement Benefit Authority. Legal action in court should come as matter of last resort.

***

Eric Mukoya is the Executive Director, Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]  

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