The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) was established in 1965 by an Act of Parliament (CAP 258 of the Laws of Kenya) in order to administer a provident fund scheme for all workers in Kenya. Initially the fund operated as a government department under the Ministry of Labour but as its membership grew and its operations became complex, the NSSF Act was amended in 1987 to transform it into an autonomous State Corporation. Since 1988, the Fund has been operating under a Board of Trustees, which is constituted by representatives of 3 key stakeholders: the government, workers, and employers.
In recent years NSSF has embarked on an ambitious reform program intended to convert it from a National Provident Fund Scheme to a Social Insurance Pension Scheme. As a converted scheme, the new NSSF will operate as a mandatory National Social Insurance Pension Scheme, serving as workers 1st pillar of social protection. Everyone with an income (except those excluded by national and international law) should be registered as a contributing member. Sadly, NSSF’s history has been marred by scandals and ill-conceived investment policies. Indeed, some regrettable investment decisions were made by the Fund in the early and mid 1990s. However, in recent times, aggressive reform policies have been implemented to prevent the errors of the past from recurring.
NSSF’s operations are now conducted in an atmosphere of transparency, accountability, and with a renewed commitment to efficient delivery of social security services in Kenya. Membership has grown steadily over the years and by the end of 2007, the Fund had a cumulative registered membership of about 3 million. The average current membership accounts range from 900, 000 to 1.2 million. Today, NSSF continues to work on enhancing its organizational performance and improving the quality of services it provides to its members.