The Finance Bill, 2021 was published on 5 May 2021 and it proposes a raft of amendments to various laws, including the Capital Markets Act (Cap 485A), the Insurance Act (Cap 487), the Retirement Benefits Act (Cap 197) and the Central Depositories Act (Act No. 4 of 2000).

One of the major amendments is to the Central Depositories Act to entrench the requirement to disclose beneficial ownership in listed securities. In line with recent amendments to the Companies Act requiring companies to disclose their beneficial owners in a bid to enhance transparency and thereby curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism, similar amendments are proposed to the Central Depositories Act requiring that securities accounts are in the name of the legal owner, the beneficial owner or authorised nominees (who must declare the legal and beneficial owners of such securities account).

Amendments have also been proposed to the Retirement Benefits Act to allow retirement benefit schemes to offer post-retirement medical cover and for this purpose to establish a medical fund as a fund within the scheme into which contributions are made and from which costs of medical benefits can be made. In addition, the bill has sought to introduce corporate trustees as a new category of licensees under the retirement benefits legislative framework.

We have put together a comprehensive overview of the key proposed amendments in the Finance Bill, 2021 and their potential impact on businesses in Kenya. Read the full article here.

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