Taxation Benefits paid by Retirement Benefits Schemes

17 June, 2024 / Articles

Retirement benefits schemes play a crucial role in securing financial stability for individuals during their retirement years. In Kenya, these schemes, including pension funds and provident funds, provide a source of income to retirees after years of service. These schemes offer a multitude of advantages, including long-term savings, employer contributions, investment growth, diversification, retirement planning tools, portability, employer matching programs, creditor protection, income replacement, and significant tax incentives.

This article aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the taxation of retirement benefits in Kenya:

Contributions Phase: During the accumulation phase, contributions made by employees to retirement benefits schemes are tax-deductible. This means that individuals can reduce their taxable income by the amount contributed to the scheme, subject to certain limits.

Employers' contributions to these schemes are also tax-deductible expenses for the employer.

Accumulation Phase: Investments made by retirement benefits schemes during the accumulation phase are generally tax-exempt. This allows the funds to grow tax-free, enhancing the overall returns for contributors.

Interest, dividends, and capital gains earned on investments held within the retirement benefits schemes are not subject to taxation during this phase.

Benefit Phase: Upon retirement or withdrawal from the scheme, beneficiaries receive various benefits, including lump-sum payments, annuities, or periodic pension payments. The taxation of these benefits depends on several factors, including the type of scheme, the age of the beneficiary, and the amount received.

Taxation of Lump-Sum Payments: Lump-sum payments received from retirement benefits schemes are subject to taxation in Kenya. The Finance Act of Kenya provides for different tax treatment based on whether the beneficiary is below or above the age of 65 at the time of withdrawal.

Taxation for Individuals Below 65 Years: For individuals below the age of 65, the first Ksh 600,000) of the lump-sum payment is tax-exempt. Any amount exceeding Ksh 600,000 is subject to taxation at a rate of 25%.

Taxation for Individuals Above 65 Years: Individuals aged 65 and above enjoy more favorable tax treatment on lump-sum payments. The first Ksh 1,000,000 of the lump-sum payment is tax-exempt. Additionally, amounts exceeding Ksh 1,000,000 are subject to taxation at a reduced rate of 10%.

 

By taking advantage of these incentives, individuals not only enhance their retirement savings but also minimize their tax liabilities, ultimately paving the way for a more prosperous and fulfilling retirement.

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