Business News of 2013-12-22

NAGRAT calls for effective second tier pension scheme

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has deplored the delay in the operationalisation of the Second Tier Pension Scheme for workers in the Ghana Education Service (GES).

It said five years into the passage of the Pension Act and three years into its implementation, “the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is yet to convince workers in the GES that it has any intentions to remit their contributions to the trust that had been put in place to manage it”.

A statement signed by the General Secretary of NAGRAT, Mr Stanislaus P. Nabome, and issued to the Daily Graphic said in 2015 the first group of beneficiaries of the scheme would be retiring yet the scheme had not seen the light of day.

“We are very much alarmed that the lives of so many of our colleagues are being taken for granted. We, therefore, call on the government and the NPRA to cease forthwith all interferences with the operation of the scheme or face stiff resistance from our members,” it said.

The statement said Certificate of Registration of the Employer Sponsored Occupational Pension Scheme was issued on November 12, 2012 but was not released until October 31, 2013, and questioned why it had to take a full year for the certificate to be released.

“This clearly demonstrates a lack of commitment to the process. The Board of Trustees that was constituted to invest the contribution of workers cannot discharge that mandate.

“We believe there has been undue interference with the operations of the Board of Trustees to the disadvantage of workers,” it said.

The statement said the association also supported the call from Organised Labour that SSNIT and the Bank of Ghana should suspend the transaction over the sale of Merchant Bank to allow further investigations into the matter.

It said NAGRAT had been closely monitoring the ongoing debate on the purported sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund and the general outcry from its membership.

“After carefully studying the transaction and taking account of the concerns expressed by the generality of workers who are the contributors to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the majority shareholder in Merchant Bank, we join the call from Organised Labour that the SSNIT Board and the Bank of Ghana suspend the transaction to allow further investigations into the matter”.