The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) says it would battle any attempt to delay the implementation of the New Pensions Scheme, “whether it came from government or the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)”.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a Volta Regional Council of Labour meeting in Ho on Monday, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Deputy General-Secretary, said “the scheme was now law and must be implemented”.
He said the scheme held a lot of promise for improving the wellbeing of workers on retirement and that organized labour was in no mood to countenance its delay.
David Kwabla Dorkenoo, Principal of the Ghana Labour College in a paper hinted that, snippets from correspondence indicated that the SSNIT would want the implementation to be pushed back to 2011.
He said SNNIT wants an aggregate of 18 months to get ready for the new scheme which by its structure would break the Trust’s monopoly in the business of managing pensions in the country.
Mr Dorkenoo broke down the 18-month period of preparation being demanded by SSNIT to six months for acquisition of technical capability, six months for systems realignment and another six months for public education.
He said SSNIT was even proposing to government that it (government) needed some time to prepare both financially and managerially for the extra cash and skills needed for the new scheme.
Mr Dorkenoo said SSNIT was also demanding that the regulatory body which would “oversee the management of the three-tier scheme” be scrapped, and additionally was opposed to private sector participation in the management of the second tier, which would pay lump sums to retirees.
He alleged that SSNIT was only taking advantage of the change in government to lobby through friends to derail the new scheme which it loathed from the very beginning though it had been part of the process from the beginning.
Mr Dorkenoo therefore called on workers to come together for once to confront SSNIT and anyone or institution wanting to delay the implementation of the scheme.
“No one would fight for your (workers) interest, not even the politician;” Mr Dorkenoo stated explaining “workers’ rights were distinct from their interests”.
“Political parties would go and come but we shall remain workers until we retire,” he stated
Mr Dorkenoo observed that politicians in parliament spoke with one voice in support of their ex-gratia, why not the workers.
He said the concern of contributors to Social Security all along had been that the Trust, which manages the money, uses a whooping 30 percent for supposed administrative purposes and that any scheme that varies pension administration to rope in other managers should be welcome.