Business News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Government is at an advanced stage of modalities to issue a GH¢2.7 billion, 15 years bond, to offset tier-two pension arrears lodged in the Temporary Pension Fund Account with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) since 2010.
Chief Executive of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Hayford Atta Krufi, in an interview with The Finder, said the bond should be issued by August, 2017.
According to him, the money is currently being audited and valued after which the transfers would be done as soon as the modalities put in place for the disbursement are completed.
“Government is committed to transferring the amount which is about GH¢2.7 billion. The government wants to issue bonds to cover the amount for the various Public Sector Schemes to inherit those bonds for a period of 15 years,” he noted.
According to him, a stakeholder meeting has been scheduled to discuss disbursement modalities further but emphasised that “according to the issuance calendar, it is August 2017”.
However, for the Private Sector Pension Account, (TPFA 1) which accrued within the period 2010 to 2014, has already been disbursed while the (TPFA 3), which also accrued from 2014 to 2016, is also in the process of being disbursed.
He noted that as at May, 31, 2017, a total of GH¢547,638,012.40 had been disbursed which represents 250,799 Private Sector workers under 7,707 employers.
GH¢7.4bn asset under by Private Pension Scheme
Total asset under the management of the Private Pension Scheme is about GH¢7.4 billion out of which about GH¢2.7 billion is in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA).
He explained that the delays in the disbursements of the Public Sector funds to their respective licensed trustees had been occasioned by the delays and legal issues associated in getting schemes and corporate trustees licenced to manage these funds.
“The public sector fund remained there for a long time because the reason why we created the TPFA in the first place was to hold the money there until schemes are registered and corporate trustees are licensed,” he explained He recalled that there was a legal case brought against the government by unions about the management of the fund and out of that settlement, four schemes were established to receive the funds.
The four trustees are the Hedge Master Trust Scheme, GES Occupational Pension Scheme, Health Services Workers Occupation Pension Scheme and the Judicial Services Occupation Pension Scheme.
Over the past few weeks, The Forum for Public Sector Registered Pension Schemes has been agitating for the disbursement of their tier-two pension contributions.
At a recently held press conference, the Forum gave government up to July to resolve all outstanding issues regarding the Tier-Two Pension Scheme. The chairman of the forum, Isaac Bampoe-Addo, accused NPRA of delaying the disbursements and the process diminishing workers returns on their investments.
“As indicated, the 2nd-Tier Scheme is a defined contributions Scheme and in order to increase the retirement income for workers, the funds deducted would have to be invested prudently and timeously.
NPRA by its conduct has held up funds in the TPFA which is yielding no returns,” the chairman noted. But Chief Executive of the NPRA said the monies are being invested at the current Treasury Bill rate.
According to him, the Authority is working expeditiously to see to the disbursement of the funds.