KR retirees protest delayed pension
4 months ago, 7 July 13:53
Kenya Railways retirees on Thursday held a demonstration over delayed payment of their monthly pension for the last five months.
The group held a peaceful demonstration outside the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme offices at the Kenya Railways headquarters in Nairobi.
They accused the Kenya Railways of mismanaging the scheme through the appointment of a sole trustee, Corporate and Pension Trust Services Ltd, without consulting members.
“The last time we received our pension was in February. The Kenya Railways management has not explained to us what is happening,” said Former Kenya Railways Workers Association secretary-general Henry Toili during the demonstration of the pensioners’ representatives.
“Corporate and Pension Trust Services Ltd was appointed in 2012 by the Kenya Railways Corporation managing director without our input.”
They have also decried the arbitrary sale and disposal of their assets without disclosure and at “throwaway prices”.
“Every property that we know has been sold, has been disposed of to the lowest bidder,” said Millicent Kisombe, a pensioner.
For instance, they said, in Chambilo Estate, Mombasa, the scheme’s 32 flats that had in 2012 been renovated at a cost of Sh26 million grant from the World Bank were in 2014 leased out for 50 years.
“Today, the flats are still unoccupied yet, we are told that they were leased at a cost of Sh500,000 per month and there are no records of the transaction. Who is this that pays Sh500,000 per month for houses that are unoccupied?” posed Mr Toili.
The pensioners also question Corporate and Pension Trust Services’ repeated advertisement of the sale of the scheme’s 3.24 acres parcel of land at Matumbato Road in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
“The sole corporate trustee has leased out the same parcel to Nairobi governor Mike Sonko for an unspecified period of time.
“Mr Sonko who is renovating the buildings has constructed a perimeter wall around the parcel and mounted CCTV cameras such that no prospective buyer can access that piece of land,” he said.
The pensioners accused the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) of being unresponsive to their queries on whether the regulator had approved the trustee to administer their scheme. “Of the 29 licensed retirement scheme administrators, the name Corporate and Pension Trust Services Ltd does not feature anywhere,” said Mr Toili.
At the last annual general meeting four years ago, the pensioners had complained about the integrity of the company, after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission recovered 15 parcels of land in Ngara, Nairobi, belonging to the pension scheme, which the sole corporate trustee had sold irregularly.
The pensioners also questioned the sale of a two-acre piece of land on Valley Road, Nairobi and another two acres in Makongeni Estate, Nairobi that was sold to Kenya Power and Lighting Corporation.
“The sales were done in 2014 without disclosure to members,” claimed Mr Toili.
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