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County workers oppose bid to take over pension fund

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County workers have opposed an attempt by the national government to take over management of their pensions, terming the move illegal.

The workers said in a statement that all matters regarding pension for county employees are the responsibility of county governments.

This comes at a time when the national and county governments are engaged in a vicious battle to control the Sh60 billion pension fund for the devolved units’ employees.

“It is manifest under the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution, Part II, paragraph 14 that the function of national government on matters pension is limited to prescribing general standards and regulations on social security and professional pension schemes, a function which is discharged through the Retirement Benefits Authority,” said County Government Workers Union secretary general Matilda Kimetto in a statement.

The union claimed the national government pushed through the County Government Retirement Scheme Bill, 2019 that gives it powers over county pensions while ignoring worker’s views.

“On this one, we stand firmly with our employers in stating that the pension arrangement for county workers is a county government’s affair,” said Ms Kimetto.

Through the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), the national government moved to control funds being run by the Local Authorities Pension Trust (LapTrust) and County Pensions Fund (CPF) Financial Services.

This triggered a sharp reaction from county governors who saw the move as yet another attempt to muzzle the devolved units.

On July 26, SCAC secretary Wanjiku Wakogi wrote to LapTrust chief executive Hosea Kili seeking critical information relating to the pension fund and its subsidiaries.  

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