Labour Union claims challenges with tier two pension scheme

pensionOrganised Labour on Wednesday said it is facing challenges with schemes registered and approved within the public services by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) for unions and associations to run the second tier pension scheme.

The four Second Tier Pension Schemes in the Public Sector are Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme set up by the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU); Ghana Education Service (GES) Occupational Pension Scheme; Judicial Service Occupational Pension Scheme, and Hedge Master Trust Occupational Pensions Scheme set up by Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG).

An official statement issued by organised labour in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said, having been duly registered, licensed and approved by the NPRA to operate as mandatory fully funded and privately managed occupational pension schemes, in line with the Pension Act 2008, Act 766 and NPRA guidelines have had serious challenges with the Government of Ghana since their registration.

It said primary among these challenges include the non- transfer of their contributions from the Temporary Pension Funds Account (TPFA) to the Custodian bank accounts of these schemes.

“On June 30, 2014, members of these four registered schemes in the Public Services held a press conference detailing challenges faced by the schemes. A copy of the Press Statement was duly submitted to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, who invited leaders of the Unions and Associations representing the four schemes to a meeting at the Flagstaff House, on July 9, 2014.

“At the end of that meeting the President set up a Committee comprising the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the National Pensions Regulatory Authority and the leadership of the Unions and Associations of the four Pension Schemes,” it said.

According to the statement the Committee was tasked to make recommendations to the President on the way forward and submit its report within three days.

It noted that, after some initial challenges the final report was sent to the President on July 14, 2014 and since then there has not been any official responses, thus creating uncertainty among members.

“It is worthy to note that the first group of beneficiaries of the New Pension Act 2008, Act 766, who will retire in January, 2015, do not even know where to claim their Tier two benefits,” it added.

It called on members to be patient and stay tuned as the leadership gives government a further two weeks to apprise them on the way forward.

The statement therefore urged the government not to blame the leadership of the four Registered Public Sector Schemes if they are unable to continue containing the anger of their members beyond that period.

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