Standard Group Suspends Pension Contributions For 9 Months As Covid-19 Crisis Bites

Standard Media Group
Standard Media Group offices along Mombasa Road [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Standard Group has suspended pension contribution for members of staff for a period of nine months citing a drop in revenue amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a memo addressed to all members of staff dated Thursday, May 7, Keneth Muoki, the Standard Group Pension Scheme Chairman, said the suspension which affects employee and employer contributions took effect on May 1, 2020.

This means that there shall be no deduction from the employer until February 1, 2020.

Muoki, however, said members who wish to make their personal contributions during the suspension period are free to do so “at their own will”.

The employer had requested to suspend the contributions after the Retirement and Benefit Authority advised organisations seeking to temporary suspend the contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic to seek consensus with members or their representatives.

Read: Standard Group Announces Upto 30 Percent Salary Cuts As Country Grapples With COVID-19

In a circular dated April 23, the authority directed employers, who wish to pursue the relief to collect signatures or table a joint affidavit by the employer and trustees as proof of consensus.

“The Trustees received and approved the request by the employer to suspend the employer and employee contribution for a period of 9 months. However, members who still wish to make their personal/Employee contributions to do so at their own will, ” the memo reads.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a toll on businesses, has not spared the media industry.

Read Also: 170 Standard Group Employees Set To Lose Jobs As Media House Seeks To Restructure

Recently, the Standard Group announced up to 30 per cent salary deduction for all members of Staff citing dwindling fortunes. The company said its revenue has greatly been affected as advertising firms had halted or reduced their advertising budget following the unprecedented negative effects of Covid-19 on their operations.

The employees challenged the pay cuts in court and obtained an order barring the company from effecting the salary cuts pending determination of the petition.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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