Social / Feature




New Pension Scheme takes off
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot

Accra, Sept 16, Ghanadot - The woes, frustrations and agitations of the Ghanaian pensioners are over as the Mills-led government has rolled out the much-awaited comprehensive New Pension Scheme in the country.

The New Pension Scheme will among other things ensure improved living standards of the elderly, financial autonomy and independence of retirees, and the promotion of growth and development of the capital, mortgage and insurance markets.

The new scheme being borne out of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) caters for the establishment of a contributory three-tier pension scheme with a Pensions Regulatory Authority to oversee the administration and management of the composite scheme.

The new contributory three-tier pension scheme comprises two mandatory schemes and a voluntary scheme.

These are: first tier basic national social security scheme which will incorporate an improved system of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) benefits, mandatory for all employees in both the private and public sectors and optional for the self-employed.

The first tier will also pay only monthly pensions and related benefits such as survivors and invalidity benefits.

While, the second tier occupational (or work-based) pension scheme is mandatory for all employees but privately managed and designed primarily to give contributors higher lump sum benefits than the presently available under the SSNIT pension scheme.

And the third tier voluntary provident fund and personal pension schemes, supported by tax benefit incentives to provide additional funds for workers who want to make voluntary contributions to enhance their pension benefits and also for workers in the informal sector of the Ghanaian economy.

Launching the new scheme in Accra, today, the President John Evans Atta Mills emphasized that the scheme would address the concerns of the Ghanaian workers, saying “For those in the informal sector, it is a dream come true”.

He appealed to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the regulator of the scheme to organize comprehensive education programmes and other seminars to bring more people into the scheme.

The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Stephen Amoanor Kwao praised the architects of the new scheme and assured them that his ministry would fully ensure the administration of the scheme by providing the needed support and guidance.

He entreated Ghanaians especially Organised Labour to have confidence in the NPRA, nurture it and make it a living institution worthy of emulation within the African continent.

The Board Chairman of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Mr. Kwame Asante, who chaired the function, envisaged that the new scheme would enhance pension benefits and increase the retirement income security of workers both in formal and informal sectors of the Ghanaian economy.






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