Government has inaugurated nine registered schemes to administer the tier two pension contributions of public sector workers.
The inauguration follows almost two years of negotiations between government and twelve labour unions on the administration of their tier two pension contributions.
The unions have demonstrated in the past to compel government to pay their contributions into their registered schemes but government declined to do so, citing the risk associated with unions running their own schemes.
But speaking at the inauguration of the schemes on Tuesday, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, admonished the board of the various trustees to professionally manage the schemes.
“I am happy to inform you that based on subsequent thorough consultations, government through social dialogue have reached a compromise on the management of the second tier pension in respect of the four schemes for health sector, Ghana education, judicial service and the hedge master trust.
We could not have reached this consensus without some sacrifices of you giving out in some instances painfully. Let me on behalf of government commend you for this understanding.”
He explained that government had earlier insisted on managing the second tier pension scheme on labour’s behalf was for good reasons and to ensure security of retirement income. “The intention of government in engaging in that long thorough cumbersome conflict was for good reason.
It was to ensure guarantee for the security of retirement income and that we are wary that in the event of mismanagement of any pension fund, it was easier for anybody to fall on the state.
Therefore we took full responsibility as government that we must engage to provide guarantees and security for retirement income, at least on that I know we have harmony and consensus.”
He further urged the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), to tighten its regulations to ensure that pensioners are not shortchanged.
“Under the law, we expect him [CEO of NPRA] to tighten regulation in particular to let SSNIT know that they are under his watch. It therefore cannot be business as usual for the management of the first basic mandatory scheme.
So NPRA, we will demand accountability from you on how SSNIT is complying with the provisions of Act 766 and I extend same to all those who will be responsible for the second tier pension fund,” Haruna Iddrisu added. Meanwhile, leaders of some labour unions told Citi News the roadmap for the implementation of the scheme would be religiously adhered to.
“It’s an opportunity for us to sit and get things done because now it has left the corridors of state and it has come to the board of trustees and we are going to be governed by their roadmap and the settlement agreement as to what we ought to do. So basically this is the beginning of a very difficult journey.