Labour Unions cry foul as first batch of Tier Three contributors make claims

Labour unions say their members have been left worse off, with the implementation of the new Pension’s Act 2008.

The labour unions and government are in court battling which body has the right to manage the second tier of their pension contributions.

The first batch of contributors under the three-tier pension scheme are retiring this year, and the unions say the retirees are being handed less than 10 percent of their expected lump sum amounts.

A group of 12 labour unions today addressed a press conference to demand government resolves their concerns or face their wrath.

JoyNews’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo reports that the Unions introduced a retired principal midwife, Martha Buckman, who went on retirement on 20th January 2015.

Martha had contributed to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for 475 months and  produced a copy of her pension payment advice which indicates that she is to be paid a monthly pension of 991 cedis, while a lump sum given her is 3, 751.20. The lump sum given her, according to the Union, is far below the expected amount.

Martha revealed that she followed up on what she thought was an erroneous text message regarding her payout by visiting her local SSNIT office in Tema, where the figures were confirmed.

Dissatisfied with the explanation, Martha paid a visit to the SSNIT headquarters in Accra where management gave her excuses before instructing her to report to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) for an explanation on her benefits.

Martha did not mince words in expressing her dissatisfaction and was adamant that she wanted to “claim my money before I die”.

Listen to Martha below:
Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) Isaac Bampoe Addo says this case is not an isolated one and that all those retiring this year are facing a similar problem.

He called on Government to explain, as soon as possible, why their members are experiencing this problem.

He expressed his surprise at the development as this was the very reason why SSNIT called for the amendment of the Pensions Act and questioned why SSNIT has been turning members away and asking them to go to the NPRA.

“We were assured by SSNIT when we met with them in January, that they would take care of all these things but what are we seeing? They are turning our members away from their offices and telling them to go to the NPRA”, Mr Bampoe Addo said.

Expressing his concerns about whether Government was being completely honest with the Unions, he reiterated that the pensioners are suffering, and called on Government as a socialist government to “come clear” about challenges that being faced in the implementation of the Act, so that together, they can come up with solutions to the current problem.

Otherwise, he said, “When the centre cannot hold, nobody should blame anybody”, adding that “It will get to a time, we will not be able to hold things together. Our members will come attack us that we are not fighting for them”.

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