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General News of Friday, 2 October 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Deal with lump sum issues of 2020 pensioners before retirement age proposals – TUC tells NPRA

The Ghana Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has said while it welcomes calls for a national dialogue to review the current retirement age, the current issue about the shortage of lump-sum payment to 2020 retirees must first be addressed.

TUC General Secretary, Dr Yaw Baah, told GhanaWen on Friday, October 2, 2020, said that the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is seeking to tackle a long to medium term issue when a present impasse is currently staring directly at it.

“Our focus now is that the lump sum payment to some of our people who have retired, especially those who retired in 2020, in our opinion, is lower than what they should get.

“That is our immediate concern that is what we have written to the government and the President about. That is urgent because some people are already retired and they have a lump-sum of less than GH¢14,000 or GH¢20,000 and some of these people have worked for over 20 years. That is what I expected [NPRA] to make some statement on,” Dr Yaw Baah said.

Dr Baah is reacting to NPRA’s disclosure that it is considering proposals to increase the retirement age from the current 60 years.

Chief Executive of NPRA, Hayford Attah Krufi, said the Authority is also considering a similar proposal to increase the deductions made from the workers' salary for the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension scheme.

He said the proposals for the reforms in the sector have been necessitated by the challenges facing the pensions scheme.

The current pensions law provides that, full pension workers must have attained 60 years of age (55 years if working under hazardous conditions) with at least 180 months (15 years) of contributions.

However, an early pension is also available to workers from the age of 55 years with at least 180 months (15 years) of contributions.

According to Mr Atta Krufi, Ghana’s retirement age of 60 years could result in losses in the workplace in both human and financial resources.

But Dr Yaw Baah said while these proposals and the call for a stakeholder discussion are welcome, they are not the immediate concern of pensioners and labour unions.

“Consider the first things first…the immediate thing is that they should look at how they can enhance the lump sum of those who have retired, especially those who retired in 2020,” he urged the NPRA.

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