Parliament has passed the Parliamentary Amendment Bill 2022, after the proposal to have members’ contributions to the fund, was dropped.
The President had earlier declined to assent to the bill and returned to parliament.
Parliament had passed the Bill earlier with an amendment to have the government increase the Members of Parliament contribution from 30 to 40 per cent.
“I have been advised by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development that the Bill which was presented to them for assessment of its financial implication did not include amendments to increase the contribution of government to the fund from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. The Bill that has been presented to me for assent provides for that increment,” reds part of Museveni’s letter to Speaker Anita Among.
The President added that the appropriate quantum for contribution can only be determined by an actuarial valuation of the Parliamentary pension scheme.
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in its report to Parliament stated that ‘whereas the Bill has proposed to increase the member’s contribution from 15 to 20 per cent, there was indeed no provision increasing contribution’.
“This means that the proposal to increase government contribution towards members of the scheme was not evaluated at the time the Bill was issued a certificate of financial implications since it was introduced by the committee after the certificate had been issued,” said Hon. Robinah Rwakoojo, chairperson of the committee.
Rwakoojo added that the committee examined the recommendation by the President and agreed that there is a need for the Board to appoint an actuary to explore the current and future needs of the scheme in order to ascertain the quantum of the government contribution.
In the Committee of the Whole House, the State Minister for Finance and MPs unanimously agreed to the recommendation to appoint an actuary to determine the government’s contribution to the Parliamentary Pensions Scheme.
The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill was first tabled in July by Workers MP Arinaitwe Rwakajaara to, among others, ease access to retirement benefits. The principal law was first enacted in 2007.
The Amendment scrapped the requirement of the recommendation by a medical board in favour of any other specialist medical petitioner to ease access for those who seek treatment or retire, on the grounds of poor health.
It also allowed a member mid-term access to 20 per cent of their pension if they are 45 years or older, and have contributed for at least 10 years.
The law also entails former speakers of Parliament and their deputies from 1980, or indeed their dependents, to receive a monthly allowance as a percentage of the pay of a sitting House speaker.