By Catherine Bekunda
and Milton Olupot
MPs yesterday hurriedly passed a Bill to provide for their retirement benefits.The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which was introduced in May this year, will provide for a formula to calculate the benefits to MPs who served since 2001.
MPs refused to heed the speakerâ€™s call to stay over the Bill for sometime to allow them internalise it.
The Bill will also enable the transfer of memberâ€™s benefits to another scheme upon retirement from the parliamentary scheme. The Bill is also expected to make provision for a disability pension if accented to by the president.
The Bill also makes a scale stipulating governmentâ€™s contribution that shall accrue to members upon retirement or withdrawal from the scheme. Since 2001 MPs have been making a monthly contribution of 15% of their pay to the scheme while government has been contributing a whooping 30 percent.
MPs earn between sh12m to sh15m per month. This means each MP receives at least sh3.6m monthly from government as their pension benefits.
Stephen Mukitale (NRM) the National economy chairperson and mover of the Bill noted that pension benefits have not been paid out to retired MPs and parliamentary staff since the enactment of the Act in 2007.
â€œThe Act lacks a formula to calculate the benefits,â€ Mukitale said.
In the new Bill, a prescribed proportion of the benefits accruing to a member under the scheme may be assigned and used by the member to secure a mortgage or a loan for purchasing a residential house.
By February 2008, the fund had accumulated to sh9b and was expected to hit sh23b by June 2009. Parliament started the scheme in 2006 to help members save money for retirement.
This month, parliament also passed the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) (N0. 2) Bill to provide for the benefits of Speaker and deputy speaker. They will receive pension equivalent to 60% of the monthly salary of the sitting speaker and deputy speaker respectively.