Saving for retirement is a concept that most Kenyans are unaware of even though they have some form for income, but as we Kenyans continue to experience various technological advancements, local companies are coming up with interesting tech-inspired solutions to tackle this problem. A while back, we got to see the emergence of usitupe mbao pension plan that only required members to save as little as Ksh20, and here we got yet another solution from Octagon Pension Services Limited dubbed Mobikeza.
Mobikeza is undoubtedly targeting workers in the informal sector who are otherwise left out from mainstream employer-sponsored pension plan with flexible approach to save for their retirement. Essentially, Mobikeza is intended for the youth who are mostly self-employed in Kenya’s famous jua kali sector as well as small and medium sized enterprises. It gives the contributor a platform to make unlimited deposits and periodic withdrawals right on their mobile phones via USSD code.
Advantages of using a USSD Code
Quite a number of services in Kenya can be accessed using a USSD code right on the mobile phone, take for example checking your mobile airtime balance. All you need to do is dial *144# on the Safaricom network. It doesn’t necessitate users to have a smartphone unlike application based services.
While commenting on the launch, Octagon Managing Director Godwin Simba indicated that Mobikeza will have unmatched capability of convenience in on-boarding, tracking and access of funds all through mobile platforms with access to three types of investment funds namely; Ustawi Fund, Hakika Fund and Usawa Fund.
Mr. Simba also acknowledged that pension coverage in the country was extremely low with statistics putting those covered at only 20 percent leaving out 80 percent of Kenyans compared to a reversed scenario in developed countries. He therefore added that to counter the low coverage issue, there was a need to focus on the informal sector who constitute 35-50 per cent of the economy in developing countries such as Kenya.
MOBIKEZA will be able to address the needs of the informal sector that require a flexible and affordable product that will be able to show daily, monthly and yearly yields, in turn, boost the saving culture and guarantee a comfortable life after retirement,” Simba concluded.
Commenting on the effort, The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) Chief Executive Officer Nzomo Mutuku termed the launch of the product as timely with a key focus of increasing penetration of pension plans.
How to enroll and save for retirement using Mobikeza
- Users can either use the official App or USSD code for those without a smartphone
- On your mobile phone dial USSD Code *483*8000#
- Then Proceed with the registration process