In a recent presentation to officers and men of the 1st Infantry Division at Kakiri Barracks, Brig. Gen. Julius Biryabarema, Chief of Pension and Gratuity, emphasized the significance of early retirement planning for a successful transition into civilian society. The event took place on October 2, 2023, at the Division Headquarters in Wakiso District.
During his address, Brig. Gen. Biryabarema stressed that the ideal time to start contemplating retirement is before it becomes a consideration from superiors. He also highlighted the fact that retirement is a constitutional right recognized in the majority of countries.
The primary objective of the Directorate of Veteran Affairs, according to Biryabarema, is to foster a vibrant and productive veterans’ community. This is accomplished by coordinating government initiatives that facilitate a smooth shift from military service to civilian life.
Biryabarema underscored the role of the Chieftaincy of Pension and Gratuity in providing support by processing terminal benefits to mitigate the loss of income stemming from death or retirement of UPDF officers and men.
During the presentation, Biryabarema guided attendees on key principles for early retirement planning. These included understanding the time horizon, determining retirement spending needs, saving for retirement, and considering basic investment principles.
Furthermore, Biryabarema shed light on retirement entitlements such as pensions, gratuities, death gratuities, disability compensation, resettlement packages for general officers, and full pension after 15 years of retirement.
As part of his call to action, Biryabarema urged all serving officers and personnel to embrace saving with existing Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs), particularly the WSACCO. He emphasized that joining SACCOs would enable them to actively combat poverty after retirement through engagement in productive economic activities.
Brigadier General Ssemwanga Joseph, the I Division Commander, commended the Commander in Chief for establishing the Directorate of Veteran Affairs, highlighting its crucial role in supporting retiring officers and their families. He also expressed gratitude toward Brigadier General Biryabarema for his tireless efforts in serving retired officers.
The event was attended by Deputy 1st Division Commander Col. John Patrick Otongo, Col. Emmanuel Muhoozi, Col. Bernard Tuhame, senior UPDF officers, and junior officers and personnel.
As retirement planning gains recognition as an essential aspect of successful transitions, Brig. Gen. Biryabarema’s presentation serves as a catalyst for officers and men to proactively prepare for their post-military lives.