The Public Service Social Security Fund Act, (No. 2), 2018 (PSSSF, “the Act”) is now operational. This law was assented by the President of Tanzania on 8th February 2018 and published on 9th February, 2018, vide GN No. 6, Vol. 99 of 2018. The Act applies in Mainland Tanzania in respect of all employers and employees in the Public Service. Public Service is defined under the Act by reference to the meaning ascribed to it under the Public Service Act and which definition includes judicial service, parliamentary service, police force and prisons service and service in the specified corporations.
PSSSF establishes the Public Service Social Security Scheme (PSSSS), provides for contributions to and payments of social security benefits in respect of the service of employees in public service and repeals the Public Service Retirement Benefit Act, the LAPF Pensions Fund Act, the GEPF Retirement Benefits Fund Act and the PPF Pensions Fund Act. It also provides for other related matters.
This article examines briefly this new law, and highlights changes that have been brought by the Act and impacts thereto, if any.
Key Provisions / Changes
Centralized Social Security Schemes
The Act has centralized the social security schemes by merging several existing public schemes into one scheme (PSSSS). The merged schemes are LAPF, GEPF, Public Service Pension Scheme (PSPF) and PPF. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) remains to cater specifically for employees in the private sector, self -employed, foreigners employed in Mainland Tanzania, employees in international organization based in Mainland Tanzania, and any other category of persons that the Minister responsible for social security matters may specify upon recommendation by the Social Security Regulatory Authority (the Authority).
With the coming into force of the Social Security Regulatory Authority Act in 2008 (“the SSRA Act”), there was introduced liberalization of social security schemes and since 2012 employees were at liberty to choose which scheme they preferred. That was a milestone achievement by SSRA. But now, with the new law, we have only two schemes in place each catering for specified category of employees with no right to choose as the law clearly states where one belongs.
This change entails the transfer of membership of the employees in the public service from the former schemes now repealed and replaced by the PSSSS, and also for transferring all private sector employees, self -employed, employees in international organization to NSSSF. The Act also requires all the voluntary schemes and their respective members and beneficiaries which were administered by the former schemes to be transferred to the PSSS Fund and their respective trust deeds to be deemed to have been entered by the Board of Trustees of the PSSS Fund. The law protects their contributions and will not lose nothing in terms of their contributions and entitlements of their pensions when they reach voluntary or compulsory retirements.
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