Social security sector in Tanzania has a long history even before the coming of colonialists. Traditionally most of the Tanzanians practice an informal and traditional social security systems built on family and/or community support. In times of contingencies such as famine, diseases and old age, individuals have depended on family, clan members or members of the community for assistance in the form of cash or kind. Formal social security is a product of colonialism, where it was available for some Europeans and few Tanzanians working for the colonial Government. The independent Tanzania inherited the social security structure as it was during the colonial times.

However the socio-economic and political changes that occurred in Tanzania from mid 1980s to 1990s necessitated the changes on the social security structure in Tanzania. The National Social Security Policy of 2003 liberalized the social security sector in Tanzania by re-organizing the activities of social security providers to respond to the market demands as related to free market economy. Some of the social security funds available in Tanzania include the National Social Security Fund, the Parastatal Pension Fund, the Local Authorities Provident Fund and the Public Service Pensions Fund. Some of the legislation worth to note here are the National Social Security Fund Act, Cap. 50, the Parastatal Pensions Fund Act, Cap. 372, the Public Service Retirement Benefit Act, Cap. 371 and the Local Authorities Provident Fund Act.

In the year 2008, the Government introduced a regulatory oversight in social security sector by establishing the Social Security Regulatory Authority under the provisions of the Social Security (Regulatory Authority) Act, No. 8 of 2008. The Social Security Regulatory Authority is due to start operation in 2010.

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