Retirement Benefits Authority

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The Kenyan retirement situation is in a deplorable state, there is a working national social security plan which until only recently incorporated the small scale private sector employees and self employed into the security net. The retirement benefits authority also needs to do more to ensure the safety of the social security fund. Tangible and more responsive products need to be tailored to match the growing needs of the Kenyan in retirement.

Retirement Benefits Authority is mandated to:

  • Regulate and supervise the establishment and management of retirement Benefits schemes.
  • Protect the interest of members and sponsors of retirement Benefits schemes.
  • Promote the development of the retirement Benefits industry.
  • Advise the Minister for Finance on the national policy to be followed with regard to the retirement Benefits industry.
  • Implement all government policies relating thereto

The Authority has since inception utilized compliance- based supervisory model to oversee the pension industry. This resulted in an inordinate amount of time being spent on pension schemes and provident funds which are largely in compliance with the requirements under the legislation and the regulations. To improve the regulatory process and make more effective use of resources, the Authority sought to develop a risk-based approach to its pension scheme monitoring and review practices.

In developing this new supervisory approach, RBA received technical assistance from the World Bank as well as input from a consultant funded by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank. The Authority launched its risk-based supervision model on June 17, 2010 at The Crowne Plaza Hotel-Nairobi.

The risk-based approach to supervision is an approach whereby the intensity of the work of a regulatory agency and the resources allocated to supervising individual schemes are in proportion to the size and risk of each scheme. The approach is borne out of the recognition of the need to have a more proactive approach to the regulation of the pension sector.

From the Authority’s point of view, the main objectives for the risk-based pension supervision model are:

  • Better understanding of Retirement Benefits Schemes financial position and the possible development in the short and medium term by both the regulator and the regulated entity;
  • Varying the scope and intensity of supervision in relation to the level of the risk schemes are exposed to;
  • Integrating supervisory regimes and efficient use of resources and time;
  • Effective allocation of scarce resources;
  • A more pro-active approach; and,
  • Promoting confidence in the system as a whole

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