BUJUMBURA February 22nd (ABP) – The Cabinet met on Wednesday February 16th 2022 under the chairmanship of the Vice President of the Republic Prosper Bazombanza, with 12 items on the agenda including the draft law amending of certain provisions of the Social Protection Code and revaluation of pensions for the public sector, according to the press release from the General Secretariat of the State.
That bill indicates that over the years, it turned out that the amount of pensions paid to beneficiaries could no longer guarantee them a decent life in view of the cost of living. The approaching retirement deadline was a grim and agonizing prospect, especially for most public sector employees.
Conscious of its constitutional obligations to guarantee, to the extent of its possibilities, the means capable of ensuring a dignified existence for those who have devoted part of their working life to it, the government has shown a political will to raise, initially, the amount of the old-age pension for civil servants, magistrates, politicians and public officials, executives, agents of the judiciary and agents of the public sector as well as members of the defense and security forces, and to apply the same process for the parastatal and private sector, in a second phase.
According to the press release, analyses have been carried out to demonstrate the feasibility of that policy of increasing the amount of the old-age pension for sectors whose salaries come from the general State budget. Those analyses showed that social protection organizations could implement government policy without particular difficulties for members in the public sector.
But as the provisions of the Social Protection Code in Burundi relating to the calculation of the amount of the old-age pension are no longer in line with the reforms of the social security sector, “retirement pension” component, a new legal framework is needed. which should allow social protection bodies to implement the political will of the government. After exchange and debate, the Cabinet passed the bill with some observations and recommendations.
According to the press release, among other recommendations, the retirement pension will be equal to the last net monthly salary of the person concerned, early retirement cannot be requested more than 5 years before retirement and without having served at least 15 years and the calculation of the pension must be harmonised. The calculation will be made on the basis of the base salary because the calculation on the basis of the gross salary automatically leads to a reduction in the net salary of the employee and would be contrary to the objective sought.
Early retirement requested for duly proven health reasons is obtained, but when it is for personal convenience, it is at the discretion of the employer who may refuse it for the interest of the service. Those who take early retirement begin to receive their pension unless they are going to take up paid work. To ensure the sustainability of that policy beyond ten years, the State will opt to increase the contributions of the employer’s shares or gradually set up a fund that will support that policy beyond this period.
It is worthy to recall that, in his speech of June 18th, 2020 during his inauguration ceremonies, President Evariste Ndayishimiye expressed a political will to improve the living conditions of retirees in terms of social security, the objective of which is to grant a retirement pension equivalent to at least the last salary of the pensioner.