More than 300 former employees of the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya (PBK) have appealed to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr Mithika Linturi to help them get their Sh2.5 billion pension arrears.
The pensioners said they have not received their pensions for the past thirteen years.
Speaking in Nakuru the pensioners through their spokesperson, Mr Harun Tinga, urged the minister to address the issue adding “most of us are in our sunset years and might die before we are paid our dues while others are ailing and are unable to pay hospital bills.
The disturbed pensioners are demanding the sale of 13 non-core assets spread across Nakuru City to settle their pending dues.
Last year the successor to PBK, the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya (PPCK) Board announced that it had written to the National Treasury seeking permission to sell houses and land in prime areas of Nakuru City to clear the pensioners’ dues.
Mr Tinga said the issue is now before Cabinet and urged Linturi to fast-track the implementation process.
“Pensioners want a proper valuation of the assets which were undervalued by government valuers. Some houses in Nakuru City are worth Sh800 million, but the government valuers want them to be sold at about Sh300 million,” stated Mr Tinga.
The Pyrethrum Board of Kenya Staff Superannuation Scheme was established in 1991 as a defined benefit scheme with each member contributing five per cent of their salaries while the employer contributed 15 per cent.
This money was to be invested over a period of time and after the contributors attained the mandatory retirement age, they were supposed to be paid in lump sum.
The pension regulations state that in case of retrenchment, the employee is supposed to enjoy full benefits and in case of death, their families will claim the benefits.
However, the scheme started to experience financial difficulties in 2002 after their sponsors the defunct Pyrethrum Board of Kenya, now PPCK was rocked by years of mismanagement, corruption and theft of public resources.
The workers filed a winding up suit at the High Court in Nairobi, which was granted in December 2016.
The then Attorney – General Githu Muigai initiated the final process of winding up the debt-ridden pension scheme.