The Trade Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella body of workers in Ghana, has called on the government to reconstitute the board of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) in order to help address the lapses in the country’s pensions policies. According to UTC, the delay in the reconstitution of the governing board of NPRA is contributing to the delay in the implementation of some important sections of the National Pensions Act, Act 766.
Speaking at the May Day celebration in Accra on behalf of the Secretary-General of the TUC, the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the association, Madam Freda Stephanie Frimpong, said the three-tier pension system which was introduced seven years ago has experienced a lot of serious challenges that needed urgent attention.
She said the association has “raised a number of issues on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) scheme, including issues regarding the formula for the computation of benefits”.
“We are working with the Board of Trustees of SSNIT to address those issues,” she said.
Madam Frimpong said the second-tier pension scheme too has many challenges, adding that “workers who will retire in or before 2020 do not have enough time to invest their funds to generate adequate returns to ensure income security during retirement.
She explained that some retirees have complained to the association about receiving lump-sum benefits far below what they are entitled to under the PNDC law 247 on pensions.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to “set up a special committee to review both the first and second tier pension schemes” to look into the implementation challenges that the pensions Acts face.
This year’s May Day celebration was held on the theme: “Sustainable development goals and decent work: the role of social partners”.
The event, which was held at the Independence Square was well attended by various workers unions and organisations.
The workers carried placards with various inscriptions, including “Increase workers’ salaries”, “Stop smuggling”, GRA is a client friendly”, “Do you know your HIV status”, “Nana Addo, protect our jobs not Americans”, “Stop piracy”, “Protect existing factories before one district one factory”, “More taxes better health”, “Over tax is killing port workers”, and “Stop contract work now”.
Others were “Reversal can be better telecos”, “Fight the robbers and not hardworking Ghanaians”, “Homoxeuals have no place in Ghana”, “Mr President CPC needs Board of Directors”, “Use LPG and save our forests”, “Mr President use Valco to build Ghana”, “Tourism promotions could succeed with photography”.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, called for action from all stakeholders to achieve the sustainable goals in the country.
He said the government subscribes to the global agenda of ensuring decent work for all Ghanaian workers, adding that the government would work to protect the interest of all Ghanaian workers in the country.
He has therefore called on all Ghanaian workers to partner government in resuscitating the country’s economy to build a better nation for all Ghanaians.