Employers who fail to register their employees for the new pension scheme will be liable for prosecution, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Mr Sam Pee Yalley, has said.
“This warning is to all employers; effective July 1, 2013, the NPRA will prosecute any employer who has refused or failed to register on any scheme. They had better take this warning seriously because their workers will not have a benefit of the full reforms,” he stated.
Mr Yalley, who spoke to the Daily Graphic after delivering a lecture at the Citi FM roundtable in Accra yesterday, said Section 23 of Act 766, which set up the NPRA, outlines the penalties for those who refuse to register their institutions and their employees or comply with any section of the law.
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He said defaulters or offenders were subject to summarily conviction not exceeding 2,500 penalty units or five years’ imprisonment or to both.
Using the database of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as a benchmark, Mr Yalley said 5,566 people had so far been registered under the new pension scheme, out of an estimated 32,000 employees
He admonished employees to ensure that not only were they registered under the new scheme but that their employers also paid their contributions on schedule.
“It is to their (employees) benefit to insist that their employers paid their contributions and on time,” he said.
Mr Yalley further advised workers to always negotiate for better basic pay and not allowances, since it was the basic pay that would enhance their pension contributions.
He described the new pension scheme as a human rights issue and urged media practitioners to take a keen interest in its implementation to ensure that Ghanaians were not just enrolled but that the schemes were also registered.
He said the institutional challenge that faced the effective implementation of the new pension system was the inauguration of a board of authority without an organisation.
“This led to a situation where the board acted as both the governing and executive board simultaneously,” he said.
Mr Yalley was hopeful that “by the end of this exercise and the steps we are taking, Ghana’s pensions industry will take its proper place in the finance industry".