Government will not do anything contrary to its promise not to tamper with the pension funds of workers, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has assured.
According to him, the pension funds were safe to a greater extent and there has not been any policy against the early decision.
“Workers should have that faith, government would not renegade on the pledge it made with workers, and they must be rest assured,” the Minister assured.
The Minister gave the assurance in response to questions as to whether the pension funds were safe, at a media briefing after a working visit to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) on Wednesday in Accra.
The visit sought to enable Mr Awuah acquaint himself with activities at the head office of the authority and challenges, towards charting a new way forward
Mr Awuah was on January 30 this year given additional responsibility by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to handle pensions, pursuant to Section 2011 of the National Pensions Act, Act 766.
He said government together with organised labour in earlier engagements concluded that the Domestic Debut Exchange Programme (DDEP) was actually taking place and the pension funds were not included.
“Workers already have that confidence that the pension funds are untouchable so government would not go against its word, the matter is already settled no fears should be entertained,” Mr Awuah said.
The minister said he had met with management in terms of a new strategic direction, and would meet with the board, over the Pension Act that has been implemented for 13 years.
Mr Awuah said “we have seen some shortfalls in the implementation of the Act, so the management have made some proposals to address those challenges.”
The minister urged workers to constantly check their pension contributions and not wait till a few days to pension, explaining that was the only way they could detect whether their employers were regularly paying their contributions. “Some workers don’t even know their status or who is managing their Tier 2, or whether or not their employers are effecting the right deductions and unfortunately what happens is that people will only be conscious of their pensions when getting closer to their retirement,” he noted.
Mr Awuah said it was the duty of every worker to have a fair understanding of pensions from the first day they were engaged and also make pension issues part of daily engagements in conversations.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the NPRA, David Tetteh-Amey Abbey, commended government for appointing a minister who is very passionate about pensions, saying personally, “I’ve been on sensitisation trips with him and I’m not surprised at the zeal with which he speaks about pensions.”
Mr Abbey said the time has come for workers to support the minister to ensure that workers gained confidence in their retirement income.