When will all parallel pension schemes be unified?

In spite of passage of the National Pensions Act (Act, 766, 2008), there are parallel pension schemes like the colonial Cap30 and University Superannuation schemes operating in tandem with the supposedly unified three-tier pension scheme.

Act 766, Section 213, stipulates that pension schemes be unified and that the Cap30 and University Superannuation schemes should be unified into the tier-three scheme within a four-year period of the Act’s passage.

The present situation attests to the fact that this provision has not been implemented to date, and experts have averred that over GH¢1,260million will be used to pay retirees who draw their pensions from the Consolidated Fund this year through Cap 30.

The situation prompted a high-level stakeholder meeting in which Vice-President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia expressed concern about the ballooning pension bill. It is clear that the Cap30 scheme has outlived its usefulness, especially with the passage of Act 766.

The regulatory body for pensions, the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA), believes Cap30’s scrapping is long overdue and by now all workers should be hooked onto the three-tier pension scheme. The Accountant-General also believes the scheme is unsustainable with Cap30, while the Director of Regulations-NPRA, Amartey-Vondee, says we cannot move along this path.

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The verdict is overwhelming, with the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOSSAG) complaining that the persistent existence of Cap30 does not promote equal pay as guaranteed in the 1992 constitution.

Thus, the die is cast and the verdict is that we should be graduating fully onto the three-tier pension scheme as prescribed by law at this material time. Therefore, between the Controller and Accountant General’s office, the NPRA and Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, they should ensure Cap30 is phased out as stipulated by the Act that governs the pension scheme.

We cannot afford to be disbursing huge sums of money on a scheme that has outlived its usefulness, particularly when there’s a law in place that outlaws its implementation.

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