Teir 2 Pension Funds Land In Parliament

Haruna Iddrisu and Kwaku Kwarteng
The Pensions Fund brouhaha which led to a nationwide strike by 12 labour unions, has eventually been tabled in Parliament.

This followed the filing of an urgent question by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng.

In the question, which was filed yesterday, November 10, 2014, the MP has asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning ‘why government has not transferred the outstanding (as of August 2014) GH¢269,269,105. 79 second tier pension contributions of public sector workers to the Bank of Ghana as required by law.’

This is in accordance with Order 64(2) of the Standing Orders of the House.

He had also sought to know where the funds, together with the accrued interest, were.

Government has not accounted for workers’ contributions into the Pensions Fund from May 2012 to date.

Public sector workers recently embarked on a two-week strike over who should manage their tier two pension under the new Pensions Law – which has been in operation since January 2010.

The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, is therefore expected in the House anytime soon to respond to these pressing questions.

An amount of GH¢270 million is reported missing from the Pensions Fund.

The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) in a document sent to parliament, revealed that government, through the Controller and Accountant General, failed to transfer  GH¢269,269,105.79 of workers’ pension contributions to the tier two account with the Bank of Ghana.

This revelation has further deepened mistrust between government and the workers, especially since the Mahama administration had been churning out conflicting figures about the actual amount in the tier two pension accounts at the Bank of Ghana.

Workers have threatened to resume their strike action if government fails to rectify the anomalous confusion over the fund.

Spokesperson for the Registered Public Sector Workers Forum – the group that organized the two-week strike until a court ruling compelled them to call it off – Reynolds Tenkorang, told Joy Fm that the workers were not ‘surprised at all’ about the development because it has been their suspicion all along.

‘The cat is out of the bag’, Mr. Tenkorang said about the latest revelation.

This, he said, explains why government had deliberately ‘collapsed’ schemes registered by the workers and is compelling them to sign onto the Pensions Alliance Trust it had unilaterally appointed.

The Pensions Act stipulates that if an employer fails to transfer workers’ contribution within 14 days from the end of each month, it would be liable to a 3% penalty.

Mr. Tenkorang therefore insisted that government be made to pay 3% on the GH¢269m it had defaulted in transferring for months.

He said the workers would wait for an audit report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers to properly ‘dissect’ the report and determine how much the government owes them.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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