Rwanda and Burundi were former colonies of Germany, not Belgium as many wrongly assume. The latter administered the two territories as protectorates on behalf of the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations.
Both countries and Congo inherited the Belgian administrative model and structures, one of them being the pension scheme otherwise known as Caisse Sociale.
After independence all countries went their ways and administered their own pension schemes but people who had worked for the Belgian administration but were not absorbed by the new independent states had no access to their pensions.
It was many decades later, after 1994, that Rwandans who had worked under the Belgians in both Burundi and Congo were able to gain access to their savings leading to calls to reform the pension scheme.
Caisse Sociale’s successor, Rwanda Social Security Board, is still trying to find its footing despite many reforms over the past few years. Now lawmakers are calling for more reforms so that members can have access to their savings without waiting for the retirement age (65).
In normal circumstances people should have a say on their savings and have the liberty to do with them as they wish, but under the current setting, countries’ economies could be perturbed as most rely heavily on pension schemes.
The middle ground would be to relax access to savings so that they can even act as collateral, after all, it is someone’s hard-earned money sitting there until they grow old and no longer have the energy to make it productive.