President Akufo-Addo has assured all public sector workers who retire in 2020 that the government will pay the difference in pension benefits between those who are retiring under the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) and their counterparts who have retired under PNDC Law 247.
The president made this announcement as he addressed guests at the commissioning of the refurbished Hall of Trade Unions, the office complex of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), today (Tuesday 13 October) in Accra. The ceremony took place on the forecourt of the newly commissioned hall.
President Akufo-Addo observed that the TUC leadership has requested that he give consideration to widespread lower pension benefits received by workers who are retiring under Act 766 and to address any discrepancy. The gap affects workers in all sectors of the economy, including teachers, media practitioners, staff of ministries, departments and agencies, as well as health sector workers.
“My policy as president has always been to find accommodation for matters of concern to the Trades Union Congress and try to find ways to address them on a mutually satisfactory basis,” Akufo-Addo told guests at the ceremony.
“One of such matters has to do with the letter of 24 August 2020 sent to me by the secretary general on behalf of the Trades Union Congress, requesting my intervention to correct the injustice and unfairness in the implementation of the three-tier pensions system and resolve the issue of past credit for public sector workers who retire from January 2020.
“I referred the matter to that outstanding public servant, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, who after careful studies and extensive deliberations has laid out the position of the government in this matter.
“To assure the public sector labour organisations of our good intentions, government through SSNIT will pay the difference in the lump-sum payments between beneficiaries of PNDC Law 247 to those of Act 766, for those retiring in 2020 with effect from January 2020 to 31 December 2020. A committee will be established to supervise the implementation of this decision,” the president said.
At the beginning of this week, sections of the media reported that workers retiring this year have fallen victim to a pension reform that promised better retirement income, only to deliver less than its predecessor did.
The reports said that among pension benefits paid under tiers one and two to people who retire this year (2020), those who have received benefits as determined by the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) reported three times lower the sums available, on average, to their counterparts who retired under PNDC Law 247.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his government’s commitment to ensuring a peaceful election 2020.
He said that Ghana’s security agencies are working around the clock in readiness to safeguard the election on 7 December.
The president added that the government will do everything in its power to support their efforts.
TUC boss speaks
In his speech, the Trades Union Congress secretary general, Yaw Baah, registered the TUC’s gratitude to the government for its support towards refurbishing the Congress office complex. In all, the government contributed roughly GHC12.7 million towards the total transformation of the Hall of the Trade Unions.
He was also full of praise for the TUC chairman, Richard Kwasi Yeboah, for his hard work which led to the execution of the refurbishment project.
The Trades Union Congress
The TUC is the main umbrella organisation for trade union activities in Ghana. It is made up of 18 affiliated national unions. These are autonomous bodies which pursue independent activities, within the framework of their constitutions and areas of legally accepted jurisdiction.
The TUC is the official mouthpiece of unionised labour in labour’s dealings with the central government and the employers’ association. It is non-political. Its 1992 constitution bars all elected officials from identifying with any political party.
Its headquarters are the Hall of Trade Unions in Accra.
The Ghana TUC currently has a membership of roughly 500,000. Its main objective is to unionise all workers in Ghana under a united movement in order to secure social, political and economic justice in Ghana.
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Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio