Ecobank Ghana and People's Pension Trust, have signed a digital-based partnership deal that allows both formal and informal sector workers contribute towards a secured retirement plan through their mobile phones.
The product, which is available on the Ecobank Mobile App, is primarily targeted at the millions of informal sector workers, who constitute about 71 per cent of Ghana’s workforce but are largely not on any pension scheme.
Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Mr Dan Sackey said this new partnership is testimony to Ecobank’s avowed commitment to using digital technology to drive financial inclusion and create value for Ghanaians, especially the largely unserved and underserved informal sector.
He said the move highlights Ecobank’s dedication to growth, particularly through strategic partnerships.
This he said was a two-edged sword of ensuring financial inclusion to secure the long-term welfare of informal sector workers, and also unlocking and redirecting capital for long-term national development.
Mr Sackey recalled several other strategic partnerships Ecobank had entered into this year to make life better for Ghanaians while raising capital for national development citing the ground-breaking Pensions Back Mortgage Scheme with Enterprise Trustees, the Auto Loan Scheme with some automobile companies and the SMEs loan scheme with Proparco.
Mr Saqib Nazir, Chief Executive Officer People's Pension said Ghana's informal sector workers, who were largely underserved with financial services, formed part of the 400 to 500 million in West Africa and the two billion people globally who need financial services extended to them.
He said whereas the risk of extending financial services to the informal sector was high, there was also a huge potential of funds to be mobilised from that sector for national development when they were financially included while creating value and security for the contributors.
He said that efforts of financially including the informal sector have been a difficult one over the years, but strategic partnerships such as the one between Ecobank and People's Pension, presented flexible and innovative pension that should enable informal sector workers to easily get on board and secure a future for themselves.
The Director of Research, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Amartey Vondee lauded Ecobank for its commitment to partnering insurance and pensions industry players to create innovative products to capture more Ghanaians into the pensions portfolio.
He recalled Ecobank's recent partnership with Enterprise Trustees to launch the widely-lauded Pension Back Mortgage scheme to enable Tier two and Tier three pensions contributors to buy and own homes using their pensions contributions as collateral of sorts.
Amartey Vondee urged more of such partnerships so that the greater majority of workers in Ghana who do not have any pensions, would be provided for.
According to him, 71 per cent of the 11.216 million workers in Ghana are in the informal sector and the greater majority of them do not have any pension scheme.
He said as of December 2020, Ghana's total pension asset was GH¢33.4 billion, out of which SSNIT held only GH¢11.3 billion, with private pension schemes accounting for GH¢22.9 billion.
"Clearly the private pension scheme operators have taken the center stage in the industry and they are proving that people can count on them to create value and secure a future for them.
"I would therefore like to take the opportunity to encourage informal sector workers to take advantage of the opportunities and convenience provided by such partnership like the one Ecobank and People's Pension has and save towards their own future," he said