Business News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
The government has instituted an audit into the tier two pension scheme to clarify the deductions of public sector workers since 2010.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, said the audit was necessary to settle the disagreement between workers and the government over the amount due.
Twelve labour unions and associations grouped under the Public Sector Registered Pension Schemes (the Forum) held a news conference at the beginning of this month and gave the government up to the end of the month to resolve all outstanding issues with regard to their tier two pension scheme.
The Forum charged the government to “transfer all contributions deducted from January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2016, including penalties, as required by the law, that is, Act 766.”
The Chairman of the Forum, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, told journalists at the news conference that since the scheme commenced in 2010, the government had about 80 months arrears of their five per cent monthly deductions to be paid to their respective custodian fund managers.
However, Mr Baffour-Awuah assured all, saying the issues would be resolved soon upon completion of the audit.
“There is an ongoing audit that will enable us to determine how much the Bank of Ghana has to transfer to the respective treasury schemes and that would be done in a very short time.” he added.
Workers belonging to the Forum have been calling on the government to pay their deductions under the Tier-Two Pension Scheme to the respective custodian fund managers.
In 2014, public sector workers resisted attempts by the government to place all of them under one Trust called the Pensions Alliance Trust.
The impasse resulted in a suit that finally ended in an out of court settlement.
Currently, four independent schemes have been licensed and approved by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to handle the second tier occupational pension scheme for public sector workers in the educational, health, judicial, civil and local government services.
The new Pensions Law, the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) established a contributory three-tier pension scheme for workers.
The contributory three-tier scheme comprises two mandatory schemes and a voluntary scheme.
Tier one is a basic national social security scheme which incorporates an improved system of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) benefits.
Tier two is an occupational pension scheme that is mandatory for all employees, but privately managed and designed to give contributors a lump sum.
Tier three is a voluntary provident and personal pension scheme, supported by tax benefit incentives and provides additional funds for workers who want to make voluntary contributions to enhance their pension benefits.