5 July 2014

Kenya: NSSF Scrapes for More Members From KRA, NHIF Databases

The National Social Security Fund has netted 80,000 additional members from databases of other government agencies after unravelling discrepancies in employee registration.

NSSF has said it is perusing records of the Kenya Revenue Authority and National Hospital Insurance Fund to reconcile and capture data of all employers who remit taxes and deductions to the two agencies.

Managing trustee Richard Lang'at told The Star that the Fund expects to enrol more employees with the ongoing cross-checking of lists.

"There is a gap to be bridged here. We are leveraging on our partnerships with KRA and NHIF to mine employers who are not with us," he said.

It is mandatory for all workers to register with the three agencies.

However, NSSF's membership numbers differ sharply with KRA's list of taxpayers and NHIF's registered members. NSSF said it has 1.5 million active members and has registered about five million since its establishment in 1965.

KRA has more than nine million registered taxpayers while NHIF has about four million members.

"Most employers are quick to register with NHIF because of immediate benefits but slow to register with NSSF," Lang'at said.

He cited a case in Kisumu where a company had 1,000 employees registered under NHIF but had only enlisted 170 with NSSF.

The three agencies are also working on a single remittance platform in a plan to have KRA collect dues on behalf of NSSF and NHIF to boost convenience and ease the cost of doing business.

"We are getting into an arrangement with KRA whereby employers will only write just one cheque for Pay-As-You-Earn, NHIF and NSSF remittances," Lang'at said.

The platform is being piloted on 58 members, which will be added to 1,000 this month ahead of a planned roll out in September.

Last month, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich proposed to harmonise remittance dates in preparation for single settlements of the various fees and deductions by employers.

Currently, PAYE is remitted before the ninth of every month, NHIF before 10th and NSSF before the 15th day of the month.

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