How to start a Pension Scheme in Kenya

Pension Scheme

Registration of a Pension Scheme in Kenya


A pension scheme is a type of retirement benefit scheme where at retirement, the contributions from both the employee and employer plus accrued interest are utilized to purchase a pension annuity from an insurance company/Approved Issuer with the provision that a member may take a maximum of one third of the amount as a Lump Sum and the balance is utilized to purchase an annuity.

A pension scheme can have the following services:

  • Fund management – Guaranteed Fund
  • Scheme administration
  • Scheme audit and assurance 

Based on the risk profile of the Board of Trustees, a scheme could choose to either be in a Guaranteed Fund for the conservative schemes who are risk averse or a segregated fund for the more aggressive scheme who are seeking higher returns and are willing to take more risks.


The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) is the regulating authority for pension schemes in Kenya, it is established by The Retirement Benefits Act in 1997. The mandate is to oversee and regulate the industry’s management as well as to develop and promote the Retirement Benefits sector. Other legislation regulating schemes include:

  • The Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefit Schemes) Regulation, 2000
  • The Retirement Benefits (Individual Retirement Benefit Schemes) Regulation, 2000)

Schemes in Kenya are required under section 23 of the Retirement Benefits Act (RBA) to apply for registration in order to be allowed to operate.

The application for registration shall be made in a prescribed form.

  • Form A3 – Application for registration of an individual retirement benefits scheme
  • Form A5 – Application for registration of a new occupational retirement benefits scheme

The Authority shall consider the application and proceed to register the scheme and forward to the applicant a certificate of registration. Where the application is not acceptable the applicant will be notified in writing the reason(s) for refusal.

Service providers required in any pension scheme:

  • A Board of Trustees or a corporate Trustee who are the owners of the Scheme and are responsible for the running of the scheme affairs,
  • An Administrator whose duties are to deal with the day to day accounting of the Scheme,
  • Fund Manager who executes the Trustees’ Investment Policy Statement, and,
  • A Custodian who holds all assets of the Scheme.
  • Auditors
  • Legal advisors
  • Actuaries
  • Managers


Administrators, Fund Managers, and Custodians must be registered by the RBA. Fund managers are also licensed by the Capital Markets Authority as they act in their capacity as investment advisers also.


A scheme may choose to have different modes of operation:

Umbrella contribution scheme

Umbrella Retirement Benefits is a fund that pools the retirement investments of multiple employers thereby reducing the average cost per member and enhancing the overall returns and benefits to both the employer and the employees.

Individual contribution scheme

This is where individuals can contribute directly into the scheme towards saving for their retirement. The contributions are flexible in order to accomodate an individuals financial circumstances.

Requirements of operating a pension scheme in Kenya

Investments Policy Statement (IPS)

It outlines the process for investment related decision making as well the investment limits per each asset class for the schemes funds. The IPS should however not conflict with the limits dictated by the RBA Investment Guidelines


  1. Name search and reservation
  2. Register for KRA pin number
  3. Proposed Type of scheme- individual, employee based, contributory etc
  4. Registered office of the scheme- postal address, plot number, building, road or street
  5. Details of the service providers of the scheme; proposed board of  trustees, custodian, fund manager, administrators, auditor, secretary, managers
  6. Names
  7. Nationality
  8. Residential address
  9. Occupation
  10. Date of appointment and details
  11. Passport photos
  12. National Identity Card or Passport if individuals
  13. Certificate of incorporation and Articles if company
  14. Credit report or clearance certificate
  15. Tax compliance certificate
  16. Particulars of the sponsor(s) of the funds of the scheme
  17. Bank details of the Fund of the Scheme- Bank name, branch, accounts
  18. Registration of custodians and fund managers by the Capital Markets Authority based on the checklist requirements
  19. Fund management agreement if any
  20. Trust Deed of the scheme and rules and by laws
  21. Non audited accounts of the scheme or management reports
  22. An actuarial report and certificate certifying the financial viability of the scheme.
  23. Insurance policy document of the scheme
  24. A scheme fund investment report by an asset manager (if any)

Examples of pension schemes include:

  1. Liberty life pension plan
  2. Chancery personal pension plan
  3. Amana personal pension plan
  4. CPF individual pension scheme
  5. Old mutual individual retirement scheme

If you would assistance in registration of a pension scheme in Kenya or drafting of a trust deed for your pension scheme, please contact us on or by phon e+254709747555.

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