Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister, on Wednesday, inaugurated a 10-Member Committee to determine the quantum of Past Credit Payable to retirees and modalities of the credit transfer with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
Past Credit is pensioners’ money that remained with SSNIT after the coming into force of ACT 766, which required the Scheme to transfer four per cent of pensioners’ funds to fund managers (second tier).
The Committee, which is under the chairmanship of Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has one month to submit its report and recommendations to the Senior Minister.
Other Members of the Committee from the government side include; Mr Bright Wireku-Brobby, a Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations; Madam Laurette Kokor Otchere, SSNIT; Hayford Amankwah, National Pensions Regulatory Authority; Mr Wisdom Messan, Controller and Accountant General’s Department; and Mr Emmanuel Adjorlolo, Ministry of Finance.
Members from the Forum of Registered Public Sector Pension Schemes (FORUM)are; Mr Isaac Bampo Addo, Forum Chairman, Mr Thomas Musah, Mr Derrick Annan, Mr Eric Angle Carbonu and Madam Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo.
The Committee is to make recommendations on how the difference in lump sums payments between PNDCL 247 and Act 766 for persons going on pension between 1st January 2020, and 31st December 2020, should be addressed.
It will also determine the quantum of Past Credit for each beneficiary and come out with modalities for the transfer of Past Credit still with SSNIT to the five Public Sector Occupational Schemes.
Mr Osafo-Maafo noted that the concerns with Past Credit dated back to 2017 when the Joint Ministerial Technical Committee was established to resolve matters relating to Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA); adding that the task of the Committee was, thus, very important.
The Senior Minister noted that the determination of Past Credit had been inconclusive despite significant efforts and compromises made by all parties to bring finality to the matter.
Mr Osafo-Marfo recalled that in 2018, the Forum petitioned the Sector Minister to look into the matter to safeguard the retirement benefits of hardworking Ghanaians.
He said as result, stakeholder engagements were held to agree on a roadmap acceptable to all parties and that the first meeting on Past Credit was held on 28th August, 2018.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said due to the inconclusive discussions at the ministerial level, the attention of the President was drawn to the matter for intervention and that the President directed the request to the Senior Minister’s Office for mediation.
He recounted that during the commissioning of the refurbished Hall of Trades Union Congress (TUC) last month, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assured the labour unions of the good intentions of his government to pay any difference in lump sum payments for those retiring in 2020.
He said under the Terms of Settlement between Government and the FORUM, which was adopted as consent ruling on the matter by the National Labour Commission (NLC), the 10-member Committee was being inaugurated to make proposals on the way forward for Government’s consideration.
To the Committee Members, Mr Osafo-Maafo said: “We acknowledge the difficult task ahead of you but with the cooperation of all stakeholders, it should not be an impossible task.”
Mr Bampo Addo said the Committee already agreed on the terms of settlements, which had been sent to the NLC, saying “…all is well that ends well.”
Madam Abena Osei Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance, urged the Committee to work hard to resolve all issues related to Past Credit and all other matters of concern.
Mr Wireku Brobby, said it was important for Government and the Committee to work together to resolve the issue “once and for all.”
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