The Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) was established under the Social Security (Regulatory Authority) Act, Cap 135 (R.E. 2015) with the main objective of regulating the Social Security Sector and providing for related matter. The Authority begun operates at the end of year 2010. In light of its legal mandate provided in the Act, the Authority plays an important role in regulating and supervising the provisions of social security services in the country.
Functions and duties of the Authority as per the Social Security Act No.8 of 2008 are as follows:
a. Register all Managers, Custodian and Schemes;
b. Regulate and supervise the performance of all Managers, Custodians and Social Security Schemes;
c. Issue guidelines for the efficient and effective operations of the social security sector;
d. Protect and safeguard the interests of members;
e. Register, regulate and supervise administrators;
f. Advise the Minister on policy and operational matters relating to social security sector;
g. Adopt the promulgate broad guidelines applicable to all managers, custodians and social security schemes;
h. Monitor and review regularly the performance of the social security sector;
i. Initiate studies, recommend, coordinate and implement reforms in the Social Security Sector;
j. Appoint interim administrator of schemes, where necessary;
k. To facilitate extension of social security coverage to non-covered areas including informal groups; and
l. To conduct programs for public awareness, sensitization and tracing on Social Security.
The system is based on three-tier structure consisting of the following:
a) Social Assistance Schemes (first tier)
Social assistance schemes are often financed by Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations and include assistance such as primary health, primary education, water, food and other basic needs.
b) Mandatory Schemes (second tier)
Employer and employee jointly finance mandatory schemes during the working life for the provision of short and long-term benefits. Schemes which are under this system are PPF, PSPF, NSSF, LAPF, NHIF, and GEPF
c) Voluntary or Supplementary Schemes (third tier)
Supplementary schemes are wholly financed by individuals through arrangements such as personal savings, cooperative and credit societies, occupational pension schemes, private pension schemes etc. They are chosen by members to compliment benefits of any mandatory scheme. Example is VSRS-GEPF, PSS-PSPF, and DAS-PPF
In Tanzania mainland there are seven Social Security Schemes, namely:
a) GEPF Retirement Benefit Fund (GEPF)
b) LAPF Pensions Fund (LAPF)
c) National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF)
d) National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
e) PPF Pensions Fund (PPF)
f) Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF)
g) Workers Compensation Fund (WCF)
They are all regulated and supervised by SSRA.
There are two kind of benefits offered by the pension Schemes. These are short term benefits and long term benefits:
A. Long Term Benefits
i. Old age
B. Short Term Benefits.
i. Medical care
ii. Employment injury
iv. Death/Funeral benefit
Pension benefits have not been reduced instead they have been increased by 37.5 per cent which has kept into consideration cost of living (indexation). This was a result of some actuarial studies and stakeholders recommendations.
The new Pension benefit formula commenced since 01st July 2014, it has already been applicable to the retirees of NSSF, PPF and GEPF. However the new Pension benefit formula does not apply to the PSPF and LAPF Members prior to 01st July 2014.
Historically, Pension Schemes were established according to Sectors. Local government service, Parastatal sector service, Public service and service in the Private sector were catered by different Social Security Schemes.
Survivor benefit payments often delay due to various verifications that needs to be done, SSRA in collaboration with ILO and Social Security Schemes are currently working on the matter.
It is estimated that it will take between 25-35 for these Schemes to start using the new formula
Pension Funds involve members and other stakeholders in decision making through Board of Trustees composition with the main Social Security stakeholders representatives making policy and other major decisions as per the conduct of Board of trustees guideline issued by SSRA. Annual General Meeting participation is another important way of Members involvement as per the Members’ Annual Conference guideline issued by the Authority
Mandatory Social Security Schemes in Tanzania are defined benefit Schemes i.e contributions are held collectively and benefits paid on insurance basis and not on an individual basis
By law in Tanzania the voluntary age is 55, whereas Compulsory age is 60 years. However, in Tanzania there is also sectorial exceptional retirement age.