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Government should address Tier Two Pension issues – Forum

By Kwamina
Tandoh, GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA – The Forum for Public
Sector Registered Pension Schemes has given the Government up to the end of
July to resolve outstanding issues regarding the Tier Two Pension Scheme.

Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Chairman of the
Forum, at a news conference in Accra, said since 2010 when the Scheme
commenced, government had about 80 months’ arrears of their five per cent
monthly deductions to be paid to their respective custodian fund managers.

The forum said the Government should transfer
all contributions deducted from January 1, 2010 to August 31, 2016, including
penalties as required by the Law; Act 766.

They also asked the National Pension
Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to ensure that the terms of settlement filed by the
Government and the forum at the High Court in February 2016 were complied with
by all parties.

The Forum is made up of unions and
associations namely: Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana,
Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana, Ghana Registered Nurses and
Midwives Association, Ghana Hospital Pharmacists Association, National
Association of Graduate Teachers and Ghana National Association of Teachers.

The rest are Ghana Medical Association, Ghana
Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists, Coalition of Concerned
Teachers, Ghana, Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union of Ghana, TUC, Ghana
Physician Assistants Association and The Health Service Workers’ Union.   

Mr Addo expressed concern about the state of
NPRA in addressing their concerns.

He said as indicated, the 2nd Tier Scheme was
a defined contributions Scheme and in order to increase retirement income for
workers, the funds deducted would have to be invested prudently and timeously.

He said the NPRA, by its conduct, had held up
funds in the Temporary Pensions Fund Account (TPFA), which was yielding no
results.

According to Mr Addo, the NPRA had failed to
inform government on the accurate indebtedness to the various schemes as per
the Act.

He said in 2014, the National Pensions Act,
2008 (Act 766) was amended by the National Pensions Act, 2014 (Act 883) and the
amendment reverted some workers back to the Social Security Law, 1991 (PNDCL
247) and also changed the formula that had been established by the Social
Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Mr Addo said this change had resulted into the
payment of reduced benefits to the contributors and had also generated a
problem as to how to handle the extra one per cent deductions made on behalf of
those workers, who had been reverted to the Social Security Law 1991 (PNDCL
247).

He said the NPRA had not ensured the
determination of an appropriate and acceptable past credit in respect of
contributors who, by the new Act, were to claim their lump sums from the
Occupational Pension schemes after contributing for several years to the SSNIT
Scheme.

Mr Addo said the situation where the Ministry
of Finance was trying to assume oversight responsibility over pensions was not
the best as it was supposed to be managed by the Ministry for Employment and
Labour Relations.

He said the Minister of Finance could not
amend an Act of Parliament with a budget statement adding; “Per Section 13 of
Act 766 the Minister Employment and Labour Relations was responsible for
Pensions and should remain as such.’’

GNA

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