PROSPECTIVE: take Interest In Existing Opportunity

Social security in Cameroon before 2014 was a reserved privilege for a selected few who found themselves in the formal sector. These included those serving as public servants, State corporations and parastatal workers as well as some private companies. These class of people, we gathered from concordant sources constitute just about 20 per cent of the working population. The government was quick to notice this discrepancy and decided to extend social security coverage to all and sundry. Thus in 2014, the Prime Minister, Head of Government signed a decision establishing voluntary insurance scheme opened to independent workers and the informal sector. The old-age pension scheme for this class of people was greeted with mixed feelings by the various groups concerned especially as most do not have a fixed income. The scheme instituted through a Prime Ministerial order and implemented by the National Social Insurance Fund extends social security to independent workers like truck pushers, traders, barbers, taxi drivers, motor-taxi riders amongst others who can voluntarily subscribe to the National Social Insurance Fund. The move by the government established justice and equity in the social security system in Cameroon with about 80 per cent of the active population involved in the informal sector. It is interesting to note that the scheme has registered some 152,000 subscribers since it was launched three years ago. Pundits however say that the number is still not satisfactory given that millions of Cameroonians are in the informal sector. The benefits for this scheme cannot be over emphasised. Old age pension is guaranteed when the individual stops activity after 180 months of contribution. The rate of contribution stands at 8.4 per cent of the income earned and by the time the worker retires, he/she is entitled to pension ranging between FCFA 19,000 to FCFA 225,000 per month depending on your contribution. With this, healthcare and education of children and other social needs are also assured. It is therefore not only important but imperative for individuals to invest more interest in the opportunity offered by the government in order to safeguard a comfortable and relaxed pension age after toying during the days of their youth.

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