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Business News of Friday, 28 May 2021

Source: GNA

Government must expedite action on implementation of consent ruling by NLA for pensioners

File photo: SSNIT logo File photo: SSNIT logo

The FORUM for Public Sector Associations and Unions has called on government to implement the consent ruling by the National Labour Commission on pensioners’ issues.

The FORUM is requesting for an end to problems associated with the implementation of the three-tier pension scheme since January 1, 2010.

Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Chairman, FORUM, in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said most affected pensioners were either “moaning or crying” over their outstanding pension earnings that were likely to occur if the consent ruling were to be used in its totality to calculate pensions for retirees.

The statement said the three-tier pension scheme was promulgated in December 2008 but the implementation of the scheme commenced on January 1, 2010.

“With clear and well thought out principles and guidelines that were to provide better monthly pension benefit and gratuity or lump sum for retirees, little did we think that there would be problems in its implementation that would linger on for almost a decade,” the statement said.

It said during the period between 2012 and 2016, government’s attempt to establish one public sector pension scheme run by a private trust was vehemently resisted by the FORUM and that the industrial action declared by the FORUM in October 2012 affected the system and that government had to resort to a court injunction and made further claims on the FORUM.

“The FORUM responded and the matter was pending in court when the then President on May Day in 2015 directed the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to seek an out-of-court settlement,” the statement said.

It said in February 2016, a consent judgement was given and the shackles on the public sector schemes were removed and the public sector schemes became operational from that time, but the problems did not end thereafter.

The statement said officers who were in the service before January 1, 2010, were entitled to past credits, a component of Tier 2 lump sum.

The statement said by law, all tier 2 funds should be managed by private trusts and, for that matter, all members who had past credits with SSNIT should have their credits transferred to their respective public sector schemes.

It said the transfer of past credits to the respective schemes had become a worry for the FORUM and that as long as the funds remained with SSNIT, beneficiaries did not benefit from long term investments.

The statement further said SSNIT only paid the prevailing Treasury Bills’ rates on the funds.

“The threat of strike initiated by the FORUM in June 2020, was stalled as the National Labour Commission intervened in July 2020. The terms of settlement between the Government and the FORUM was subsequently adopted as consent ruling by the National Labour Commission in October 2020,”it noted and said that the ruling must be implemented.

“Apart from a ten-member Committee, which was established in November 2020, with specific terms of reference, the transfer of past credits to respective public sector schemes and the determination of the difference in the lump sum payments between beneficiaries of Social Security Act, 1991 (PNDCL 247) and the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766 as amended) from 1st January, 2020 to 31st December, 2020 for payment to be initiated from the 2021 Budget are still pending,” it stated.