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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya mulls reforms to boost medical care for retirees  

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is at the final stages of putting in place regulations to boost medical care for retirees, the pension industry regulator said on Thursday.

Nzomo Mutuku, chief executive officer of the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), told a media briefing in Nairobi that the authority has started a consultative process to develop guidelines to govern the Post-Retirement Medical Fund (PRMF).

“The draft guidelines have gone through an elaborate stakeholder consultation process and were exposed to discussion by members of the public nationwide. The guidelines were subsequently approved by the attorney general and the national treasury and are now awaiting final gazettement,” Mutuku said when non-banking financial services consultancy Liaison Group launched a product that allows clients to enjoy medical cover in their retirement.

Dubbed the Suluhu Umbrella Scheme, it is the first one in the Kenyan market to allow members to port their medical cover through their pension and income draw down in one platform. 

The PRMF is a fund setup within a registered retirement benefits scheme or by an employer (sponsor) to which contributions are made while a member is in active employment and from which medical cover benefits are met after a member has exited the service of their employer and becomes entitled to receiving benefits as provided in the scheme rules.

Mutuku said the PRMF guidelines intend to regulate and supervise the establishment and management of PRMF, provide a guidance for the schemes to allow members and sponsors to make additional voluntary contributions in respect to funding a medical fund, and to provide for members to transfer a portion of their retirement benefits to a medical cover provider at retirement.

The pension regulator said the guidelines therefore means that the climate is set for employers to plan for this very important benefit for their employees.

“It also means retirees will be better prepared to comfortably meet their healthcare needs and access hospitals of their choice for chronic, pre-existing and high-risk conditions,” he added.

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