MPs now want Ksh.10M medical cover after losing seat, pension for single-term lawmakers

MPs now want Ksh.10M medical cover after losing seat, pension for single-term lawmakers
File image of the National Assembly during a previous sitting. PHOTO| COURTESY

Members of Parliament (MPs) are now seeking to further amend the Parliamentary Pension’s Act to ensure they will continue enjoying full medical cover even after they are voted out of office.

Speaking during a debate on the proposed amendments to the Act by Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime, the MPs said most ex-parliamentarians are suffering under the heavy cost of medical expenses and there is need to ensure they are covered.

If the proposals sail through, MPs and their spouses will retain a medical scheme of Ksh.10 million for the inpatient cover per family, Ksh.300,000 for the outpatient cover, Ksh.150,000 for maternity and Ksh.75,000 for dental care.

“Those who are serving this House for the first time, you are not sure if you are coming back, Kenyans might not like it, but anyway this must be done,” said Minority Leader John Mbadi during the debate.

Mwadime also wants to ensure MPs who have only served for one term are eligible for pension as opposed to the current position where only MPs who have served for two terms get the retirement pay.

Some of the MPs wanted the House to go further and cater for former councilors and MCAs who they said are suffering in the cold despite serving the country in an exemplary manner.

They said parliamentarians should be given a chance to choose between gratuity and refund of pension contributions.

The amendment proposes that MPs who have served for a single term to receive a send-off package equivalent to 31 per cent and a refund of their pension contributions without interest.

Those who lost their seats in the August 2017 General Election after serving a single term got a refund of Ksh.5.9 million each as an exit package last year.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday MPs approved a Ksh.100,000 monthly pension for former parliamentarians who served between 1984 and 2001.

It’s not yet clear if the National Treasury will accept the amendments being pushed by the National Assembly, or if President Uhuru Kenyatta will ascent to them.

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Story By Edwin Obuya
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