The High Court has quashed the law allowing workers to withdraw pension for home purchase. The Court has stopped the implementation of the Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 which allows workers to withdraw part of their pension to buy a home. Justice Anthony Ndung’u said that the amendment to the law was done through an irregular and flawed process because the National Assembly did not allow for public participation. The law change, signed on 14th September 2020 by former National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, allows workers to access up to Sh7 million or a maximum of 40 percent of their retirement savings to buy their first residential house.
Justice Ndung’u said in his judgment that Article 10 provides the national values and principles of governance which bind Parliament when it legislates and Article 118 provides that Parliament shall conduct its business in an open manner and facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative process while Article 93(2) provides that the National Assembly and the Senate shall perform their respective functions in accordance with the Constitution. Pension schemes had until September 14, 2021, to amend their rules to allow their members to access their savings for house purchases. The law was meant to boost home ownership in a market where most people employed in the formal sector are unable to raise the deposit or afford the typical monthly mortgage payments.