There are pension systems that have been established to provide at least basic protection against the risks associated with old age, accidents, maternity benefits and sickness for formal-sector workers.
However, most workers engaged in the informal sector, particularly in developing countries, are left out of the traditional pension systems. This is sometime caused by challenges encountered in tracking and keeping record of the people working in the informal sector, thus frustrating all efforts aimed at extending social security systems to those involved.
Part of the Rwandan Social protection sector’s vision is to increase participation of the informal sector in the contributory social security system, with more people enjoying the benefits of labour legislation . There is a strong concern about lack of pension for workers in the informal sector, according to the study conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda survey on the informal sector 2007. The informal sector has not been actively contributing to the social security fund.
The challenges remain for provision of pension schemes for the informal sector in order to prevent shocks that could potentially send people in the informal sector during their old age, to extreme poverty. Little Rwanda-specific evidence exists about the bottlenecks that these people face in taking up pension coverage and the challenges in supplying pensions to this sector as well as its impact on the vulnerability of households.
It is in this regard that the Rwanda Civil Society Platform seeks to recruit a consultant to conduct a study on the situation and impact of insufficiency of social security for the informal sector and related challenges to inform policy makers on the need and strategies to extend pension scheme to the informal sector.