General News of Friday, 16 August 2019
Government has released some 3.1billion cedis which were kept into the Pensions Trust Fund Account into the custodian accounts of the various public and private Sector pension schemes.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffour-Awuah who disclosed this at the Meet the Press series in Accra said the schemes include the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme, Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme, Judicial Service Occupational Pension Scheme, Hedge Master Trust Occupational Pension Scheme and Public Sector Workers Employees’ Pension Scheme.
The Minister indicated that, efforts are being made to bring all matters arising out of the Temporary Pensions Fund Account (TPFA) transfers including Data Reconciliation of beneficiaries and the issue of Past Credit to a logical conclusion.
“In line with the President’s directive on May Day this year, serious attention has since been given to these matters to facilitate the smooth and efficient payment of Tier 2 pension benefits from 2020. As a result of many more efforts deliberately put in place by the Authority, there has been an increase in the membership and contributions of the personal pension scheme” he said.
The minister disclosed that as at the first quarter of 2019, the total membership of personal pension scheme was 158,577 with a total Asset under Management of GH?88,646,234.58 (US$17,729,246.92).
These notwithstanding and considering the fact that the informal economy employs about 85% of the entire workforce of the country, there is a lot more of the informal sector workers within the Ghanaian population uncovered and all efforts should be on deck to extent coverage to this important segment of the economy”, He indicated.
According to the Minister, expanding pension coverage to the informal economy remains a top priority for the Ministry in the short to medium-term.
Hon. Ignatius Bafuor Awuah said stakeholder discussions are still ongoing to establish specific pension schemes for various economic units within the informal economy ranging from farmers, fishermen, market women and traders, drivers, artisans (carpenters, masons, welders, tailors, hairdressers, etc.) to spare parts dealers.
Touching on sustaining the Pensions Regime, the Minister said, “In order to grow and sustain pensions and to enforce Act 766 as amended, the NPRA must necessarily be strengthened and supported to deliver as expected of a credible Regulator of the industry.”
“To ensure this, Government is collaborating with the World Bank to undertake some reforms towards sustainability of pensions. Other Development Partners, particularly the Swiss Government through SECO are also in collaboration with NPRA to build its capacity to effectively regulate the world of Pensions in Ghana”.