The Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) on Tuesday, January 31, launched Imisanzu, an online platform enabling its members to keep track of their pension contributions, access reports, undertake retirement projections, and submit complaints without having to come to its offices.According to labour union and pensioners’ association representatives, the platform will help address the current situation where some employers do not remit pension contributions for up to 10 years, without the workers’ knowledge, an issue that was negatively affecting their right to pension benefits.Speaking during its launch in Kigali, Regis Rugemanshuro, the CEO of the pension body said that “the platform really puts the power of information in the hands of our members.”He indicated that it is in line with the journey that the institution embarked on since 2020, consisting of transformation to become a truly member-first, data-driven and highly performing institution.The platform is accessible via imisanzu.rssb.rw, where members can register, by entering their phone number, national ID or passport number, to be able to use it.Data from RSSB show that during the pilot phase of the platform, it got over 46,000 on-boarded members. Also, it indicated that there were over 8,000 claims raised by the members, of which, 6,000 were resolved.Rugemanshuro said some of the members who interacted with the platform testified that they did not know that they had arrears in contributions dating back five years – as their employers did not contribute for them to the pension scheme during that period, despite this being deducted from their monthly salaries.ALSO READ: Pension body looks to triple profit by 2025“Often times, the saddest part of this story is that by the time usually you get to find out, it’s far too late. Some of the companies have already closed doors, others are not financially in position to do that cover the gap, because it was not just for one member; it they defaulted, it was probably for the whole company,” he indicated.“One of the features that we’ve included as well is when there is a missed contribution, you will be notified so that you don’t have to reach out to find that out. So, we will let you know that your employer has not remitted that contribution for you,” he said.A welcome move Prof. Silas Rwakabamba, 76, who has used the platform, said before subscribing to it, he could not know which employers had paid his contributions and who had not; nor “how much I will get if I retire today.”However, thanks to the platform, he could monitor his pension and contributions.“I realised a number of things. Number one, there are some contributions which were missing,” he said, indicating that he found he had missed one and a half years of contributions.“The advantages here for me, I can decide when to retire, and I know how much I will be getting,” he said, adding “where I can now claim the months which were not contributed, I will do it, because I have evidence.”Dorothée Uwimana, president of Rwanda Pensioners’ Association, told The New Times that there are retirees who are getting smaller pension benefits partly because there are some contributions that their employers did not make for them to the social security.She exposed that the association received complaints from 12 of them, and are waiting for the employers to pay the due contributions and related penalties for delay, but pointed out that there are many of such cases.“This new system will address the issue of long journeys for the older people, who are suffering from different ailments and disabilities. It will also ease the follow up on identified cases of pension contributions that were not made,” she said.Jean de Dieu Bagirihirwe, Union organizing officer at Rwanda Workers' Trade Union Confederation (CESTRAR), said that this system will help to address earlier the cases of unpaid contributions which were negatively affecting the rights of employees and their pension benefits once they retire.He said the labour was working on the case of 750 employees who worked for Rwanda tea Authority (OCIR THE), but it did not pay their pension contributions. In 2011, OCIR THE became part of the current National Agricultural Exports Development Board (NAEB).“Some of the workers went into retirement, and when they want to get pension from RSSB, they found that their pension contributions started being paid only when NAEB was their employer,” he said, pointing out that 10 years without contributions mean a reduction of 20 per cent in pension benefits that one would get.Meanwhile, Rugemanshuro said that there are over 635,000 members in pension and occupation hazards schemes managed by RSSB.