A Critical Analysis of Social Security for the Informal Sector in Uganda: A Case of National Social Security Fund
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The study focused on analyzing the current efforts by the National Social Security Fund in the promotion of social security coverage for the informal sector in Uganda. The objectives of the study were to: Review social security reforms for informal sector; Find out the challenges faced by NSSF in implementing social security interventions for the informal sector; and make recommendations for social security interventions for the informal sector in Uganda. The scope of the study was limited to NSSF Staff Headquarters located at Workers’ House and key members of the informal sector in Kampala Central Business District. In terms of time, the study was limited to the four years of NSSF’s existence between 2014 and 2018 during which government started debating on Pension Liberalization Bill which also included voluntary participation of the informal sector. The main purpose of the study was to assess social security reforms for informal sector as implemented by NSSF. The research adopted cross sectional a case study design mainly using qualitative approach. The target population was NSSF staffs and members of the informal sector. Subsequently, the sample size was three NSSF staffs from Voluntary Saving Section under the Business Department and six members of the informal sector from Kampala Central Business District. The study employed a purposive sampling technique, with Primary data collection using Semi-Structured interview Guide and descriptive analysis of primary was conducted and presented in the findings. Findings showed that two participants from NSSF were female and one was male, while four of the informal sector participants were males and only two were females. All NSSF participants had attained Maters degrees, while four of informal sector participant had attained Bachelor’s Degrees in different fields and only two had Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE). Findings reveled that NSSF has introduced Voluntary Scheme to cater for informal sector. Voluntary contribution is still very low despite a remarkable success registered of by NSSF of about 10,000 voluntary savers. The major challenge hindering expansion of voluntary contribution is the restrictions in the NSSF Act. Primary data from Informal Sector Respondents shows that voluntary contributions stood at 33% only. The main suggestion to expand and improve social security for informal sector was amendment of the NSSF Act to allow for broader coverage.