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Public sector workers in Ghana have accused politicians of attempting to review the Three Tier Pension scheme to their own advantage and to the benefit of industries as against the interests of workers.
The 12 labour unions also known as The Forum expressed this concern at a press briefing aimed at channeling out their grievances to the government on issues related to their pension fund.
Chairman of The Forum, Isaac Bampoe Addo, said, the Three Tier Pension Scheme under the National Pension Act 2008 (Act 766) and National Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2014(Act 883) was implemented to provide pension benefits to ensure retirement income security for workers but not to support industries, as being claimed by some politicians in the country.
He said the primary objective of the Act is to seek the interest of workers on retirement and also as a contribution to stemming old-age impoverishment which affects the country at the long run.
He claimed some industrialists and politicians are attempting to use the accumulated huge sum of pension funds for other purposes, which he added, “would not happen under our watch, since that is not the objective of the scheme.”
The chairman cited the flagbearer of the Progressive People Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s comment, when he addressed the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) to the effect that the original intent of the scheme was to provide long-term capital to industries that would support made in Ghana programmes. The Minister for Works and Housing, Atta Akyea, also made similar comments suggesting that they mortgaging the funds for housing purposes.
But the chairman of the Forum has debunked the assertion, claiming that the scheme is to ensure that better security is provided to all contributors during retirement, establishment of rules, regulations and standard for administration purposes and payments of retirement benefits to both public and private sector.
The Forum therefore called on politicians and private industrialists to desist from attempting to access the pension funds at the peril of workers. They asked authorities to allow the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to properly define the scheme in consonance with existing laws.
Bampoe-Addo threatened that if the Three Tier Pension does not properly mature to pay better pension lump sum than SSNIT, agitated workers would revert to the CAP 30.
“We want authorities to know that, we contributed the over GHS 10 billion pension funds and it must benefit us, so allow us to locate our funds for our own benefit,” he added.
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey