PPF praised for wider coverage of informal sector





Jenista Mhagama, the minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled

The government has showered praise on Parastatal Pension Fund (PPF) for introducing “Wote Scheme,” a service that specifically targets members from the informal sector as a way of widening social security coverage in the country.

“I understand that the Wote Scheme targets not only members of the informal sector, but acts as additional scheme for members who have joined other social security funds,” Jenista Mhagama, the minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), stated.

In her speech at the weekend in Dar es Salaam during the closing ceremony of the 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of PPF Pensions Fund’s members and stakeholders, Mhagama said she was optimistic that the scheme would enable more Tanzanians to enroll for social security coverage.

“Among others my ministry is responsible for ensuring that coverage of pension schemes reaches out to as many people as possible. I thus appeal to you to publicise the arrangement and register more members,” the minister remarked.

Mhagama also hailed the pension fund for introducing the Maternity Benefit in which female members receive 1m/- for each birth up to the fourth delivery. The benefit covers four births and has been pegged at that number regardless of the salary of the member.

Ramadhani Khijjah, the chairman of PPF Board of Trustees, meanwhile said the Wote Scheme targeted members from the informal sector such as food vendors, motorcycle riders for hire (bodaboda), artisanal miners as well as artistes and sportsmen and women.

“It was devised for entrepreneurs in self-employment and members who want additional benefits from social security. Members are required to be above 18 years old and can contribute 20,000/- or more per month.

The amount can be paid in instalments of smaller amounts to achieve the 20,000/- target and members can make the payments through mobile phone money services such as M-Pesa, Tigo-Pesa and Airtel Money.

“The members will thus have access to benefits such as healthcare, education and old age loan,” Khijjah remarked.

As of December last year, a total of 12,393 members were registered through the Wote Scheme, said Khijjah, adding that the target was to register more members from both the informal and formal sectors.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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