22 January 2018

Tanzania: SSRA Refutes Claims On Benefits of Judges Taxation

Dar es Salaam — The Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) has refuted reports in some media outlets that amendments of the Public Service Social Security Fund Act, 2017 intended to impose taxation to public servant's benefits including judges and isolate widows from benefiting with services provided by social security funds in the country.

A public statement issued on Monday, January 22 says such reports were false and misleading, noting that the government has no intention to impose taxation to benefits of retired public servants and that section 56 of the bill was wrongly translated.

"It should be known that according to current social security funds and tax laws, benefits of retired public servants are not subject to taxation. Refer to section 47(3) of the PSPF Act, section 37(3) of the GEPF Act, section 90(2) of the NSSF Act and section 54 of PPF Act," reads part of a statement.

The clarification comes at a time when the government intends to table in the next Parliament session, amendments to the law which, among major things, seeks to merge all pension funds into two entities.

The recommendations have been disputed by many stakeholders who noted that it will create unwanted chaos.

According to the statement, section 56 of the bill resembles contents of sections outlined above which when read concurrently with tax laws, they build a foundation to tax exemptions in the country.

Furthermore, the statement says conditions for benefits of the judges have been derived from section 21 and 22 of the PSPF Act, noting that no changes have been made on the content, rather they have been improved and separated from the pension conditions and other benefits.

"Therefore, reports published in the media related to benefits of the judges intended to mislead the public and paint a negative image in front of the public," reads the statement.

SSRA says in a statement that benefits payable to widows and next of kin have been improved to the largest extent as compared to conditions available in the current law, noting that the bill has openly disclosed benefits following death of a member.

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