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Business News of Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Source: thebftonline.com

Minister for Employment initiates mass pension enrolment programme

Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Barfour Awuah has initiated a mass pension enrolment programme by paying for a year’s pension contribution for 10 individuals in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region.

At an outreach program at Asesewa in the Eastern Region, to sensitise people on pensions in the area organised for informal sector workers in Asesewa by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Mr. Bafour Awuah said the gesture was to encourage the people to have faith in the informal pension schemes in the country.

The event which was aimed at helping the people in the area to understand and appreciate the pension concept and to also encourage them to sign onto pensions schemes saw about 400 informal sector workers drawn from driver unions, chainsaw operators, vegetable sellers, beauticians, dressmakers Christian and Muslim groups, among others, participating.

Twelve groups and over 100 individuals signed on with Axis Pension and Glico Pensions. The campaign was chiefly about focusing on increasing pension coverage in Ghana. It has become necessary primarily because the pension coverage in Ghana is extremely low.

Mr. Barfour Awuah observed that since the enactment of the pensions law to extend pensions coverage to all workers, available data show that majority of workers in the informal sector are not covered by any pension scheme. “In most cases, this results in old-age poverty and dependency after retirement,” he added.

He said to ensure income security for workers and their families in retirement, government through the NPRA has been working assiduously to expand pension coverage especially to workers in the informal sector. These, he noted, include the establishment of specific schemes for occupational groups and the roll-out of various pension products by corporate trustees to expand coverage.

He assured the people of his office’s continued support and assistance to engage the people and the District Assembly to bring the services of NPRA closer through the establishment of a regional office in Koforidua. “We would also continue to leverage digitalisation to expand pension coverage and ensure retirement income security for all workers in Ghana,” he stressed.

Chief Executive Officer of the NPRA, Hayford Attah Krufi, said within the past three years pension coverage has increased from 3% to 6% at the end of the first half of this year adding that his office has put in place pragmatic measures to increase pension coverage in the country to 40% by the year 2026.