Kenyan taxpayers will have to part with an additional Sh450 million annually as pension for former MPs who retired between 1984 and 2001 if a proposed Bill is enacted.
The Bill is sponsored by Minority Leader John Mbadi who is seeking to amend the Parliamentary Pensions Act, Cap 196. If passed into law, 375 MPs will each get an increase in their pension payout to a minimum Sh100,000 per month for life.
“A former Member of Parliament, who having served in Parliament between July 1, 1984 and January 1, 2001 and is entitled to pension under this section and whose monthly pension amounts to less than one hundred thousand shillings shall be entitled to a monthly pension of one hundred thousand shillings,” the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 reads.
According to the Parliamentary Pensions Act, only those who served for two terms or more are entitled to a monthly pension of at least Sh125,000 for the rest of their lives.
But Mbadi now wants MPs who have served for one term to be included.
“This is in light of the fact that despite serving the nation, some Members of Parliament are languishing in poverty and there is need to take care of their welfare,” he says in the memorandum of object and reason to the Bill.
Mbadi also notes that the number of beneficiaries has since reduced from 570 to about 375, Business Daily reports.
“I had recommended backdating of this payments in my initial draft Bill, but after consulting with Budget and Appropriations Committee, we decided that it would be a burden on the taxpayer. So, the payment will begin at the point the Bill is assented to and becomes law,” Mr Mbadi is quoted.
A former MP is eligible for pension if he or she ceases to be a member of the National Assembly by reason of dissolution of Parliament, if his or her aggregate period reckonable service is two terms of Parliament and has attained the age of 45 years.