The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is working to ensure that workers are signed on to the mandatory pension contributions to guarantee the security of their retirement income.
The move seeks to enforce compliance with Section 213 of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) as amended by Act 883, which enjoins every worker to contribute to either the mandatory or voluntary schemes under the new three-tier pension scheme.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NPRA, Mr Hayford Attah Krufi, said the authority would pursue the unification of pensions to ensure that all workers contributed for their future retirement income.
“In compliance with section 213 of the Act, every worker is supposed to come under the three-tier pension scheme. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So we are working assiduously towards making sure that that section of the Act becomes actualised so that everybody will be paying towards at least Tier 1 and Tier 2 which are mandatory. Tier 3 is voluntary but at least for Tier 1 and Tier 2, everybody working in any shape or form has to contribute,” he told journalists at a one-day training workshop for journalists on the three-tier pension scheme in Accra.
He said there were both public and private sector pension schemes that were currently at the disposal of anyone employed; and it was, therefore, important to contribute to some form of pension.
Need for pensions
Mr Krufi reiterated the need for people to be concerned about pensions whether they worked for private or public entities or they were self-employed, and not wait until they were nearing retirement before they thought of pensions.
He said only a few people clearly understood the importance of pensions although it was often talked about, and the only time people got concerned was when they were in their 50s and nearing retirement.
“Pension is something that is with us and per the Act, it starts at age 15. So from the age of 15, you should start thinking about life after work. It is very important that in our daily reportage, we have the ability to inform Ghanaians about this,” he stated.
Over the years, the role of the NPRA, Mr Krufi indicated, had been to educate and sensitise the public to the importance of pensions.
That, he explained, was, however, changing because the authority was moving to enforce laid-down procedures to ensure that contributors along the value chain were protected.
“Our focus on our core mandate to ensure retirement income security is changing; we were set up to inform, educate and sensitise. We will not just inform and leave it there; we will inform and enforce,” he said.
He added: “It is only by enforcing that we ensure that the consumer will have retirement income security, have value for money and have a better payout at the end of his or her working life.”
The workshop which brought together business journalists from some media houses forms part of activities by the NPRA to ensure the smooth implementation and development of pensions in Ghana.
Mr Krufi noted that it was also to update the media on the implementation of the three-tier pensions and to give the kind of capacity that would enable them to report effectively to Ghanaians who were the ultimate beneficiaries of pensions.