Regional News of Friday, 4 July 2014
Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has fired a warning to government to keep its hands off the management of the pension contribution of its members else it will hit the streets.
Deputy General Secretary in charge of Administration and Labour Relations at GNAT Awotwe Nkansah has asked government to authorize the transfer of Pensions funds to the pension schemes operated by individual labour unions.
Under Ghana's new pension’s law, the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) workers have a three-tier pension’s scheme.
The second tier occupational pension scheme, is mandatory for all employees but is privately managed, and designed primarily to give contributors higher lump sum benefits than presently available under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) or Cap 30 pension schemes.
Under the 2nd tier, the private fund must be registered by employer in consultation with employees. The employer is supposed to choose a fund manager to run the scheme.
Government insists it is the employer and should appoint a fund manager, a position the labour unions object.
"Government is trying to impose a fund manager on us", Nkansah told Joy News' Newsnight.
"We have our fund managers and trustees...why are they refusing to pay deductions? Not a single pesewa has gone into the pensions scheme", he lamented.
GNAT fears employees going on pension do not know where to make their claims.
They are giving government two-week ultimatum to get the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to transfer their 5% contributions.
Emmanuel Awuku Dagbanu of the NPRA said the fears of the teachers are misplaced. He revealed there is a singular account with the Bank of Ghana where their contributions are kept.
He called on GNAT to sit with government to negotiate and decide on who should appoint a fund manager.