By Lawrence Kimbowa
Recently, I was surprised to hear some individuals trying to oppose the newly established Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority and its mandate. The Fact remains that the authority is to make a land mark in regulating the establishment, management and operation of retirement benefits schemes in Uganda in both the public and private sector.
In the era of increasing corruption and embezzlement, the money of workers is at high risk as you may never know what could happen. It is said that prevention is better than cure and it would be disappointing for you and me to retire and go home empty handed. The authority was established by the Government of Uganda under the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority Act 2011.
The mandate of the authority is also to supervise institutions which provide retirement benefits products and services and in this regard both the private and public sector schemes needed a regulatory body to oversee their activities. They also have to protect the interest of members and beneficiaries of the retirement schemes alongside seeing the development of the schemes which keep our savings. URBRA like the Government of Uganda will also provide for licencing for custodians, trustees, administration and fund managers retirement benefits scheme, the appointment of inspectors and interim administrators. I believe, as Ugandans, we deserve the best.
As a way forward, proprietors, civil society groups, managers of both the private and public retirement schemes together with the members need to give chance to URBRA to specifically ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the management of our schemes.
I would like to encourage and call upon all employers and employees both in the private and public sector to establish, maintain and join the schemes.
The Authority should not be looked at as a tool of mismanagement on short, medium or long term but rather be perceived as an opportunity to safe guard the safety and security of all our schemes. It is also critical that the schemes should be supported, supervised, inspected and coached in order for them to fulfil their missions, visions and core values. The fund managers too need to be supported in ensuring they are doing the right thing. So let us not view the authority as a threat and an inconvenience for our retirement schemes but change our mind set for the future.
Strongly, let us support URBRA to offer a foundation for discipline, good culture of compliance and commitment to serving our retirement schemes as they full fill their mission and visions and to URBRA, I look forward to seeing you at greater heights.
The writer is a public communicator