Zamara Group has partnered with a Singapore based tech firm pinBox solutions have launched a unique micro-pension inclusion partnership to widen pension coverage in Kenya. The country currently has over 17 million informal sector workers.
Zamara Group Chief Executive Officer Sundeep Raichura said: “Through our partnership, we aim to reach and empower the millions of domestic helpers, boda boda drivers, farmers, small shop-keepers, artisans and street vendors, and especially the youth and self-employed women in Kenya to achieve old age income security through thrift and self-help”.
“The solution will provide a secure and affordable mechanism which any Kenyan citizen will be able to conveniently access simple and regulated pension and insurance solutions”, Raichura added.
He said the micro-pension scheme will also be the first national-level collaborative deployment of a pensiontech solution and delivered with leading digital financial and pension inclusion stakeholders in Kenya.
Parul Seth Khanna, the director and co-founder of pinBox, said the partnership with Zamara and its consortium of leading insurance and banking partners to launch Africa’s first, national-ID linked, and private sector driven national micro-pension scheme will tap the country’s 17 million informal sector workers.
“This is a very important first step for us as we march ahead in collaboration with governments, regulators and pension and financial inclusion stakeholders across Africa to help deliver secure and affordable retirement solutions to 500 million excluded non-salaried workers”, Khanna added.
The country is facing an emerging old age poverty crisis where over 9.2 million people are expected to be above the age of 60 and nearly 85% of them will not get a pension.
Zamara CEO said about US$3.34 billion will be required annually to fund for the welfare of these elderly people and yet tax revenues will not be able to cope with the enormous fiscal and social cost of an even modest tax-funded social pension.
“Without an effective and immediate policy, regulatory and business response to pension exclusion however, poverty among the future elderly in Kenya will become the dominant cause of increased poverty in the country,” Raichura warned.
He called on the young informal sector workers to begin saving for their own retirement to avoid the imminent old age poverty crisis facing Kenya, and Africa as a whole noting that such long-term savings besides providing old age income security could help fuel the country’s economic growth, infrastructure development and employment.
Read: Nema orders closure of Windsor Hotel over poor waste management
PinBox has also worked closely with Zamara and its institutional partners to co-create field-tested retirement literacy and training tools and in designing a secure and affordable product and digital process architecture to optimise voluntary coverage and savings persistence by informal sector workers across urban and rural locations in Kenya.