26 June 2014

Kenya: Fixed Political Pensions Excessively Generous


YESTERDAY the National Assembly finally tabled a Retirement Benefits Bill to provide a generous lifetime pension to former Vice Presidents and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

They will get monthly pensions equal to 80 per cent of their last monthly salary. They will also get two saloon cars and a Four Wheel Drive plus fuel allowance.

A fixed pension is excessively generous. The calculation of pensions for politicians should be revisited.

The President is a special case because he can only serve for two five year terms.

But other politicians, including MPs and Deputy Presidents, can serve indefinitely.

Their final pension should be computed on how long they have served in office. If, for instance, we adopt a 1/30 'accrual rate', they would get half their final monthly salary if they serve for 15 years, and only get 100 per cent if they serve for 30 years.

The longer politicians serve, the more they should get. That should be the principle.

Their pensions should not be fixed solely on their final level in office. That would reward the poor one-time performers at the expense of long serving popular politicians.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission should be asked to redesign the pension scheme for politicians.

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