The National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has said that one of its major aims is to regulate the pension sector in a manner that would lead to poverty reduction nationwide.
According to the NPRA, data available to the authority reveal that many people are faced with poverty issues immediately when they retire: a situation that is fighting against government poverty eradication efforts.
For the NPRA a successful implementation of personal pension schemes is one of the sure ways to reduce poverty levels as pensioners would not only get great benefits but also the state would have enough ideal funds to tap into for development.
An assistant manager at NPRA, Roland Avenyo Addico, made this known at the launch of Hedge Pension Trust’s Pempasie fund, a Tier 3 contribution by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana, (CLOGSAG).
According to him, personal pension schemes help in deepening asset accumulation in the country which provide capital required in investing into critical sectors of the economy as well as enhancing financial inclusion. Also, it helps contributors to improve their standard of living even after retirement.
As a result, the NPRA is pushing for more attention on personal pension schemes which would empower formal and informal workers to safeguard their old age. “The authority anticipates that successful implementation of personal pension schemes can reduce poverty levels in the country. As policy makers and regulators, our objective is to ensure efficiency, effectiveness in service to drive the scheme,” Mr. Avenyo Addico said.
He, however, commended the Hedge Pension Trust for taking the initiative to establish a pension scheme which intends to cover both formal and informal sector workers adding that it falls in line with the NPRA’s strategy to expand pension coverage to the informal sector.
The initiative would address the exclusion of millions of traders, farmers, fishes and other entrepreneurs who were not able to access pension plans under the old system, thereby ensuring inclusion, he added.
He explained that, unlike the Tier 1 and 2, the Tier 3 pension scheme is designed specifically to target the informal sector workers who are not covered on any pension plan and as well as allow formal sector workers who wish to enhance pension benefit in the future.
According to him, the NPRA is encouraging all pension trustees and contributors to leverage technology to support the expansion of pension schemes in the informal sector. He also urged trade associations and unions, non-governmental organisations and other informal workers to join hands with the NPRA and the trustees to enlighten their members and the general public on the benefit of personal pension schemes to secure the future and reinforce the need to save.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of Hedge Pension Trust, Emmanuel Asiamah also urged members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana, (CLOGSAG) to plan their life after retirement.
He said planning for retirement is a necessity for every person. “Average life expectancy continues to rise and the future may have more financial obstacles than the past or present, hence the need to secure the future.”
General Secretary for CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, urged all government workers to contribute to the fund to have a better life after retirement.