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Suit on new NSSF rates referred to chief justice

Saturday February 28 2015

A National Social Security Fund (NSSF) employee distributes guide books to motorists on Uhuru Highway, Nairobi, on August 18, 2014 during the launch of a campaign to sensitise the public on the benefits of the NSSF Act 2013. The row over the substantial increase in contributions to workers’ pensions has been referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a bench to hear and determine the matter.  PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |

A National Social Security Fund (NSSF) employee distributes guide books to motorists on Uhuru Highway, Nairobi, on August 18, 2014 during the launch of a campaign to sensitise the public on the benefits of the NSSF Act 2013. The row over the substantial increase in contributions to workers’ pensions has been referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a bench to hear and determine the matter. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ABIUD OCHIENG
By ABIUD OCHIENG
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The row over the substantial increase in contributions to workers’ pensions has been referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a bench to hear and determine the matter.

The directive was issued by Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Nduma Nderi Friday.

The orders were made in a petition challenging the legality of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act, 2013.

Justice Nderi observed in his ruling that the petition raises substantial questions of law on the constitutionality of the NSSF Act, 2013 adding that, “the consolidated petition also raises substantial questions of law concerning employers and employees.”

NSSF announced the increases, but the unions objected and went to court.

The petitioners and interested parties include the Kenya County Government Workers Union, Central Organisation of Trade Unions, Agricultural Workers Union and Federation of Kenya Employers.

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Lawyer Okweh Achiando for Cotu and AWU claimed the contributions denied them and employers the right to choose quality pension services.

They have sued the NSSF Board of Trustees, Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi, the Retirement Benefits Authority and the Competition Authority.

However, NSSF’s Managing Trustee Richard Langat said the unions were engaged in mischief in their bid to stop the new contributions.

According to Mr Langat, there was adequate public participation before the contributions were increased.

“The unions were given a chance to present their views to Parliament. They also had an additional five months to challenge it but they chose to come to court,” said Mr Langat in his suit papers, adding that the higher rates will benefit pensioners and their dependants.