Jack was a suave and flamboyant young man working for a local NGO in Nairobi. Although he was earning a six-figure salary, his employer did not have a pension scheme. Barely a year after retirement, Jack is now a pale shadow of his former self, having slipped into depression and binge drinking occasioned by a sudden lack of affluence which he previously enjoyed.
But Jack is not alone. Due to lack of proper planning for retirement, many people find themselves in a similar situation. However, such scenarios would have been averted had people invested in their retirement early enough. Thanks to individual pension schemes such as the CIC Jipange Pension Plan, one can now save for retirement, without necessarily depending on your employer.
CIC Jipange Pension Plan came into being following the realization that the market penetration of retirement benefits products is very low. The product is tailor made to suit people in various demographics such as: individuals in the informal sector or self-employment, employees in small & medium enterprises where the employer does not have an established retirement scheme for the existing workers, members of registered schemes who may want to voluntarily top up their contributions in an independent arrangement and members leaving employment who wish to transfer their accrued benefits from an occupational scheme.
Among the key salient features of the product are that it is simple and secure. Each member is allocated an account to which contributions are credited. It also has a savings plan that earns attractive annual interest depending on the performance of the various defined investment instruments. One can also join any time after attaining18 years of age by signing a proposal form.
The product also offers a lot of flexibility on the amount that one contributes, which depends on how much the contributor wishes to accumulate at retirement date. With a minimum contribution of Shs 500 per month, this product is among the most popular and affordable in the market. Whereas lump sum contributions are acceptable, members can also make their contributions monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. Most importantly, the product allows for flexible mode of payments including transfers from mobile phones and direct debits.
Besides, transfers from other registered pension plans are allowed. Members can also choose their own retirement age, ranging from 50-75 years. Upon attaining the chosen retirement age, one may receive the entire accumulated fund in lump sum or convert the accumulated contributions to a monthly pension.
With the recent launch of the pension app and portal, members now have an improved customer service experience, as they have remote access to their accounts.
Dubbed the “CIC Jipange Pension Plan app and web portal”, the platforms are customer service interfaces which enable members to actively interact with their pension accounts, including statements as well as provision to amend their beneficiary details.
A member who has already registered can proceed to sign in with their ID number and their password and click the log in button to access the menu items. New members without any details can also register and a representative of CIC will get in touch with them to find more information. In addition, a client can choose to skip the registration/ log in page and go to the next page and view a summary of the pension products provided by CIC Life.
If a registered member has forgotten his/her password, they can use the “Forgot Password” functionality on the log in page and input the member and ID numbers. The reset password will then be sent to the registered mobile phone number and email address.
The app incorporates a pension calculator, which is available for individual and salaried contributors whose employers participate in making contributions. It also includes a functionality that enables clients to invite friends to use the app. The app is currently optimised for Android phone users but plans are underway to extend the same to Apple and Windows phone users.
Clients can also access their accounts online by visiting: https://cicpension.cic.co.ke/
Those with difficulty accessing the app or portal can contact the following customer service numbers: 0703 099 140; 0703 099 311; 0703 099 127 or email: email@example.com