Do you know that you can take a pension cover for your elderly parents?

Just received a call from upcountry that your mum is sick and need to be rushed to the hospital.

It is mid-month hence no money. You just have a health cover for your husband/ wife and children o -What can you do?

This is the kind of situation faced by many  young people in Kenya, with latest statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showing that at least 56 per cent of the elderly people rely on their relatives and well-wishers for basic needs like housing and medical care.

This situation can however be mended, thanks to private pension saving schemes like Alexander Forbes Vuna which is giving young people a chance to save for their elderly parents, cautioning them from rough emergencies like sickness and death.

The scheme which was launched in Kenya last year has already enrolled 30 employers and over 2,400 members. Recently it posted 14 per cent growth form its initial capital of Sh1.4 billion to Sh1.6 billion.

According to the firm’s Head of Retail Division, Angela Okinda, the scheme managed to register a steady growth in its asset base despite the difficult year for investors

Speaking during an Annual General Meeting in Nairobi, Okinda termed high dependency ratio as one of key factor affecting saving culture amongst young working population in Kenya.

“The youth in this country has a lot of potential to generate good income and make adequate savings for their future.

She added that personal pension plans are suitable for the self-employed and employees who desire to save for their retirement especially when they do not belong to any retirement benefits scheme.

Studies by International labor organization indicate that only about five per cent of the Sub-Saharan African population is covered by the contributory pension programmes. In Kenya less than 15 per cent of the population has a health cover.

This even as the country’s life expectancy continue to go down. A Kenyan is now likely to live up to 64 year, down from 70 years a decade ago.


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