PERSPECTIVE: Saving at 50 Years and Beyond with the NSSF Voluntary Savings Plan
Upon qualification for his Age Benefit, that’s given to members who turn 55 years, Alex Thomas Ijjo, an associate professor of Economics at Cavendish University, chose to continue saving with the National Social Security Fund under their Voluntary membership plan.
His reason was simple: Past 55 years, he wanted his savings to continue growing with the competitive interest rates provided by the Fund whilst accumulating enough to secure his retirement and his children’s future.
Like the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20yrs ago. The second-best time is now.”
It is never too late to start saving even at 50 years. 50yrs old is a golden age. Making it to half a century is no small feat that comes with a lot of experiences, achievements, and memories.
With many achievements and the busyness of life, it is possible that some areas of your life may have been ignored, specifically finances. Irrespective of whether you have achieved financially or not, there is always more you can do with the right saving scheme.
In Uganda, of the 15.9 million working population, only 2.8 million are saving for retirement, according to the 2020 Retirement Benefits Sector report from the Uganda Retirement Benefits Authority.
That is only 18% of the working population. When you combine this with increased life expectancy after retirement, there is a need for more savings for citizens in their 50s in order to support themselves after retirement. According to NSSF, most 50-year-olds saving with NSSF have UGX 16 million or more.
NSSF seeks to make it more convenient and accessible for citizens in their 50s to save through the Voluntary Membership plan.
Like professor Ijjo, former NSSF members, whom the Fund already paid their respective benefits, but are still able and willing to save with the Fund can apply to join the Voluntary plan.
Section 10 (3) of the NSSF Act states that “any member of the Fund in respect of whom the standard contribution has ceased to be payable under this Act may apply in the time and in the manner prescribed to make voluntary contributions to the Fund...”
For those who are self-employed, you must first register your company/business, after which you would then be eligible to enroll for the plan under the Voluntary Employers category, even if you are the only employee of your company/business.
Employers with less than 5 employees are also eligible to join the NSSF Voluntary Membership plan with their employees.
This is occasioned by the NSSF (Voluntary Registration and Contributions) Regulations, and in specific reference to Section 10 (1) of the NSSF Act.
This provides that any employer may “apply for voluntary registration as a contributing employer; and any eligible employee of such employer may thereafter apply for voluntary registration as a member of the Fund.”
Considering the alternatives out there in pension schemes, the interest offered by NSSF stands significantly above the rest.
Most offer rates in the range of 5-6.5% while NSSF offers between 10-12%. That means your savings can earn more. At 50yrs, there are a specific set of needs that require a service provider that is unique and flexible in its service offering.
NSSF Voluntary membership plan can help provide that solution that will make your retirement comfortable and stress-free.
To join the plan, simply go to Nssfug.org/voluntarymembership/ or any NSSF branch countrywide. The best time to start saving was 20yrs ago. The second-best time is your 50s.
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