Assets under private pension funds hit GHC6.4bn

Pensionfund Fund File photo

Fri, 4 Nov 2016 Source: B&FT

Total assets under the management of private pension funds have reached GHC6.4 billion as at September this year, Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations has disclosed.

The assets under management by the private pension funds indicates a substantial potential of the pension market, which the fund managers want to capitalize on to boost the prosperity of workers and to deepen the financial services sector in the country.

However, that potential is currently being held back, with a large portion of workers contribution held in temporary accounts held at the Bank of Ghana.

Additionally, a large portion of the workforce operates in the informal sector, thereby operating outside of the current pension system.

According to Mr. Baba Jamal, about GHC2.6billion of the assets of private pension funds are currently held in temporary pension funds.

Mr. Jamal added that GH¢356 million has also been transferred to 74 schemes, consisting of 25 Master Trust Schemes and 49 employer-sponsored schemes representing 4,139 employers and 163,595 employees.

He made these comments during the inauguration of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) Northern Regional zonal office, in Tamale. The Tamale branch is intended to serve the three northern regions in a bid to rope in more workers and employers onto the various pension schemes.

“Public-Sector Workers funds are safe and contributions would be transferred when the public-sector schemes are fully registered and operational,” he assured workers.

The Deputy Minister commended the Authority for making efforts at ensuring the safety and future of workers, adding that NPRA must place more emphasis on building a strong regulatory framework to protect funds under the stewardship of private managers.

The opening of the Tamale office, he said, further re-enforces NPRA's efforts to decentralise its activities to be closer to workers and its stakeholders.

According to the Authority, about 256 schemes have been registered under the 2nd Tier mandatory occupational pension Scheme whilst efforts are been intensified to cover more.

Dr. Nii Kwaku Sowa, Board Chairman of NPRA, noted that the Authority was committed to protecting and safeguarding pension funds of workers.

“As part of measures to ensure compliance, the Authority has started implementing its sanctions regime under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766). We have also been training auditors and finance managers of pension schemes on periodic financial reporting template as part of plans to standardise financial reporting in the industry,” Dr. Sowa said.

Dr. Sowa called for effective collaboration with various stakeholders to build a robust pension industry in the country to secure a better life for pensioners.

Source: B&FT