Committee absence delays ex-MPs retirement benefits

National Assembly Clerk Michael Sailai. FILE PHOTO | NMG
National Assembly Clerk Michael Sailai. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The 267 MPs who lost seats in the August 8 General Election will have to wait longer to access their retirement benefits following delays in the constitution of a committee that administers their pension fund.

The Parliamentary Pensions Committee, which is in charge of the MPs pension scheme, lapsed on August 7, the last day of the tenure of the 11th Parliament.

“After the pensions committee has been formed, pension or gratuity will be paid to former members who served in the 11th Parliament,” Michael Sialai, the clerk of the National Assembly and the administrator of the pension scheme told the Business Daily.

Members of the 11th Parliament — emerging from bruising and expensive campaigns — have been pushing for speedy payment of the cash.

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) says that 196 one-term MPs who lost seats in the August 8 poll will choose between the Sh6.7 million gratuity and a refund of their pension contributions made over the 52 months they were in the House.

Most of them are expected to opt for the refund of their pension than the gratuity because the contributions are expected to cross the Sh10 million mark.

The refund is equivalent to the amount contributed at an annual interest of 15 per cent for every year served.

The 79 MPs who failed to secure back their seats and had served for two terms will be offered a life-long pension of Sh125,000 per month and miss on the gratuity.

But some members of the 10th Parliament, whose term ended in early 2013, managed to walk away with both pension and the gratuity cash — which was previously offered to all MPs who failed to secure their seats.

The payments will, however, delay because MPs have not constituted the Committee on Selection which places lawmakers to the various House committees.

The formation of committees has stalled because the Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has boycotted House business.