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MMUST Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme Sensitizes Its Members on the Scheme’s Performance, Achievements and Projects During the 12th Annual General Meeting

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A section of MMUST staff following presentations during the Retirement Benefits Scheme Annual General Meeting.

 MMUST’s Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (SRBS) on 18 February, 2023, sensitized its members on the Scheme’s performance, achievements, and projects during the 12 Annual General Meeting. The AGM was conducted in accordance with the Retirement Benefits Authority’s (RBA) requirement to give members an opportunity to receive updates on the Scheme’s performance. The event which took place at the Main Catering Unit (MCU) -001 was organized by the MMUST’s Board of Trustees in collaboration with the RBA and graced by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo.

Prof. Shibairo noted that MMUST’s SRBS is a well-defined contributory scheme that ensures the safe retirement of its staff. He added that the meeting is key in providing psycho-social support, to enable them to have a positive attitude towards their forthcoming retirement. “We have made sure we pay all our dues to the government to ensure your well-being after retirement. The sponsors shall continue making contributions in tandem with the law.  Therefore, this meeting guarantees us the safety of our contributions as well as the sponsors’,” he stated. He further emphasized that the scheme is a safe place to invest.

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From right; the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, the Chairman of the MMUST SRBS Board of Trustees, Mr. Josephat Shigogodi and the Director of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Prof. Joseph Nasongo at the event.

In his remarks, the RBA representative, Mr. Bosco Gicheo, pointed out that the RBA is committed to safeguarding the members' and sponsors’ retirement benefits. “It is our mandate to protect the interest of members and sponsors of the scheme, to develop the sector, and to alleviate old-age poverty through enhanced saving for retirement. This is your investment, take it seriously, and consider investing for a longer period for more benefits,” he urged.

The Scheme administrator, Octagon Pension Services Limited, tackled accessibility of the benefits, payment process, taxation, and member rights. He advised the scheme members to always attend the scheme AGMs and study the annual statement of records. “I encourage you to make sure that your accumulated benefits can replace at least 75% of the current salary upon retirement, refrain from partial withdrawals, nominate beneficiaries as early as possible, and focus on saving as much as you can,” he urged.

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A section of the MMUST’s Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme Professional Advisors (far left) and MMUST staff at the meeting.

According to the Scheme’s Custodian, Kenya Commercial bank (KCB) represented by Mr. Michael Mbuvi, the bank is charged with keeping the financial assets of the Scheme safe and servicing the portfolios related to those assets. “It is our obligation to ensure that reporting on assets held under custody is carried out to Trustees as per the RBA guidelines and that the assets held are detailed in the audited accounts. In addition, we confirm receipt of monthly pension contributions from the sponsor. Therefore, we certify that all the assets for MMUST Retirement Benefits Scheme were maintained in segregated accounts and all the investments were executed as per the fund manager’s instructions,” he said.

The Scheme’s fund professional managers; African Alliance Kenya Investment Company Limited and Old Mutual Investment Group Limited who are tasked to advise Trustees on investment decisions, encouraged the members to consider investing in the scheme for more benefits to them in the future. “Retirement could mean the end of a work shift or a gradual transition with reducing responsibilities and commitments. However, we are here to help you make that transition into a sustainable, long, and happy retirement,” stated the representative.

Moreover, he revealed that a ‘Personal Pension Plan’, helps self-employed people, informal groups, and former employees. It enables the members to determine how much they can save regularly which they can review at will.

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The Scheme Auditor, FCPA Dr. Jackson Maingi making a presentation as the Octagon Pension Services Limited representative (seated left) follows keenly.

In his presentation on, ‘The Audited Accounts for the Year Ended, 30th June, 2022’, the Scheme Auditor, FCPA Dr. Jackson Maingi who was representing Maingi & Jackson Associates, acknowledged that the auditing was conducted in accordance with the International Standards Board for Accountants’ on Auditing (Code of Ethics for Professional Accounts) together with other ethical requirements that are relevant to the audit of Financial Statements in Kenya.  Further, he declared that the firm has fulfilled its ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements.

Expressing his delight, the Chairman of the MMUST SRBS Board of Trustees, Mr. Josephat Shigogodi pointed out that the AGM is extremely important in the Calendar of the Scheme as it provides an opportunity to members to receive an update on the Scheme’s performance.  Further, it creates an opportunity for members to interact with the Trustees and Service Providers as well as seek clarification on matters pertaining to the progress of the scheme.

“It is a good gesture shown by the employer (MMUST Council) and employees to contribute towards the scheme. Despite the tough economic challenges, our employer has shown a huge commitment to supporting the scheme through regular and timely remittance of contributions. To date, there are no unremitted contributions and the scheme is fully funded. On behalf of the trustees and members, I sincerely thank the sponsor for the support received. This has helped the scheme to grow and comply with regulatory requirements,” said Mr. Shigogodi.

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A section of MMUST staff at the event.

The MMUST Staff Retirement benefits Scheme Trustees include; Prof. Solomon Shibairo, Mr. Josephat Shigogodi (Chairman), Prof. Joseph Nassongo, Prof. George Lawi, Prof. Alice Ndiema, Dr. Eglay Tsuma, Dr. Isaac K’Owino, Ms. Dorah Mbakaya and CPA Patrick Kivale. The Secretariat are; Mr. Bernard Wesonga and Ms. Celestine Mmasi.

The scheme is anchored on four main pillars. These include; provision of optimum return on investment, establishment of a good governance framework, utilization of technology to improve service delivery and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Certainly, the AGM enables employees of MMUST to understand the scheme’s performance, achievements, and projects.  It also educates them on cash benefits and pensions due to them upon retirement as well as a relief for the dependents of the deceased employees.

By Verna Awuor

Photos by Linet Owuor

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