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Capital Markets

Pension managers to pay annual permit fees despite licensing shift

IRA chief executive Edward Odundo. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
IRA chief executive Edward Odundo. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Fund managers and administrators of pension schemes will continue paying annual licensing fees despite the regulator shifting to issue perpetual permits starting this year.

The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) said all licensees including custodians of schemes will continue paying the Sh50,000 yearly fee despite the fact that they have open-ended permits.

The pensions’ industry regulator has already issued perpetual licences to 19 fund managers, 29 administrators, and 11 custodians.

Current practice

The new regime means that the regulator will be continuously inspecting fund managers, custodians, and  administrators to ensure they meet licensing requirements unlike the current practice where audits were carried out at end of year.

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“Annual fees will not stop as a result of perpetual licensing. They will continue paying and this is one of the conditions we’ll be checking,” said RBA chief executive Edward Odundo.

“We’ll now be doing continuous due diligence on their risk profile and all other requirements,” Dr Odundo said yesterday in an interview with the Business Daily.

The list of fund administrators in charge of Kenya’s Sh1 trillion pension industry includes Alexander Forbes, Kenya Orient, Jubilee Insurance, Aon Consulting, CPF Financial Services, and Enwealth, among others.

The new licensing rules come after Treasury secretary Henry Rotich, through the Finance Act 2016, introduced a raft of amendments affecting retirement schemes effective New Year’s Day.

“A certificate of registration issued to a manager, custodian or administrator shall be valid from the date of issue and shall, unless suspended or revoked remain valid,” reads Section 29 of the now amended Retirement Benefits Act.

“A manager, custodian or administrator shall pay such annual fee as may be prescribed by the authority.”

Other changes introduced by Mr Rotich touching on Kenya’s pensions industry include a new rule that requires retirement benefit schemes to publish their audited financial statements three months after close of their respective fiscal year.

The reporting rule has put on the spot laggard schemes such as the National Social Security Fund whose latest report is to June 2015.

Administrators, managers and custodians of retirement schemes in Kenya will now also have to disclose their ownership, directorship and top management to the regulator, the new rules stipulate.

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