Government should address Tier Two Pension issues – Forum 

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.’’

Source: GNA

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