GNAT gives NPRA 72-hour ultimatum to release GH¢1.7b bond

The Leadership of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has given the Management of the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) a three-day ultimatum to release their bond totalling GH¢1.7 billion.

Mr David Ofori Acheampong, the General Secretary of GNAT told a press conference that the money had been with the Authority for over 80 months.

“We will ask the Trust Board to stop paying fees to the NPRA if they failed to release the bond,” he said.

Mr Acheampong, who addressed the press on the status of the Ghana Education Occupational Pension Scheme Share (GESOPS) of the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) in Accra, on Tuesday, said the 80 months was arrears from January 2010 to August 2016.

He however, said the monthly contributions have been paid up to June 2018.

He said after the 72-hour ultimatum, the leadership of GNAT would embark on a sit-down strike for the number of days that it would take the NPRA to release the bonds to their Custodian Bank.

“Two weeks after the re-opening of schools for the first term of the 2018/2019 academic year; they would proceed on work to rule for another two weeks.”

“We have been compelled to take these strategies because the NPRA, the regulator, has turned itself into Fund Manager and Custodian. So if the trust Board has any operational challenges, where do they go for resolution,” he added.

Mr Acheampong said despite the directive from the Ministry of Finance, the NPRA as at today has not done so with the excuse that they were going to engage a consultant to produce data before the release of the bond.

The General Secretary said, however that, without the data, NPRA had released the share of Temporary Pension Fund Account to three other Public Sector Schemes.

He said the Chairman of the Trust Board of the GESOPS wrote to the NPRA to release the Bonds to their Custodian Bank and the Chief Executive Officer of the NPRA indicated that the generation of the data had to be done by a qualified consultant, and that, they were in the process of going through procurement stages.

He said the NPRA claimed that it was taking prudent investment decision on the 80 months contributions arrears and that they would continue to abide by any investment instructions given by the Board of Trustees.

“The response from no other person than the CEO of NPRA clearly shows that the non-release of the Bonds will deprive our members from getting their lump sum benefits paid to them,” he added.

He said the irony of the situation was the fact that the NPRA, which was the Regulator, has now transformed itself into Custodian and Fund Manager roles, the Act 766 as Amended, does not ascribe to the Regulator.

“What is more serious is that contributors, who have retired, go to NPRA for their benefits but the NPRA rather refers the retirees back to the Teachers Unions for the payment of their benefits,” he said.

Source: GNA

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