NPRA seeks support from development partners
Hayford Attah Krufi

NPRA seeks support from development partners — As SECO project comes to an end

The National Pensions and Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is asking for support from the World Bank and other development partners for continuous technical training for the effective operationalisation of its Risk Based Supervision (RBS) System.

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The RBS systems which was developed in 2019 through the help of the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) is aimed at streamlining the supervisory and regulatory mandate of the authority. 

It was also designed to help the authority to stay abreast with the emerging pensions regulatory practice and also ensure efficient and effective pensions industry.

Speaking at the end of SECO Project event in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of NPRA, Hayford Attah Krufi, said the move towards RBS was transitional and would be undertaken gradually, as the authority develops the necessary expertise. 

He said this would mean the authority would be needing continued support from its development partners.

“Once technology is dynamic, we will have to continuously provide training for staff and upgrade our technical infrastructure. 

“We will have to explain what is expected of stakeholders. A lot more needs to be done after today,” he stated

He said the end of the SECO project signalled a new beginning of hard work, commitment and dedication which required the support from development partners. 

SECO Project 

In 2008, Ghana through the enactment of the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) reformed the pension system by the introduction of the contributory 3-Tier Pension Scheme. 

The act also established the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to oversee the implementation of the new act. 

As a new and young regulatory institution in the financial sector the NPRA needed the necessary technical expertise and knowledge to regulate the industry. 

In 2014, the Swiss Government came to the aid of the Authority with a grant of 2.4 million Swiss Francs under the SECO-sponsored project. 

The first phase of the project was aimed at improving the regulatory functions and internal functioning of NPRA. 

Through this project support, the long-standing legacy problem associated with the transfer of Temporary Pension Funds Account (TPFA) was resolved. 

After the successful implementation and completion of Phase I of the project, the Swiss Government initiated Phase II of the Project to continue the support to the NPRA in helping to ensure retirement income security for the Ghanaian worker. 

The key objective of Phase II was expected to help improve the Authority’s internal capacity and external oversight to enforce compliance of service providers in the industry. 

Pension supervision

In a speech that was read on his behalf, Deputy Minister of Employment, Labour Relations and Pensions, Bright Wireko Brobby, said pension supervision across the globe required among other things, a dedicated focus on protecting the interests of pension fund members and beneficiaries.

He said this could be done by promoting the stability, security and good governance of pension funds.

He mentioned that pension supervision, therefore, involved the strict oversight of pension institutions such as corporate trustees, fund managers and Custodians as well as scheme operators. 

He noted that the SECO project sought to help enhance the operations of the NPRA to meet such supervision and regulatory goals.

Mr Brobbey said achieving stability within the pension sector was an important part of securing the stability of the financial system as a whole, as investments made by pension funds have a major impact on the real economy in many countries.

He pointed out that pension supervision included the monitoring of the activities of pension schemes and funds to ensure that they remain within the requirements of the regulatory framework.

“It is my prayer that the solid foundation laid for effective and efficient regulation of pensions in Ghana through this project will bear fruit to not only grow the pension industry in the country but also importantly sustain and build a formidable economy through our pensions system.

“As we are all aware, the provision of pensions is of fundamental economic and social importance to the citizenry, to ensure the successful delivery of adequate retirement income,” he stated.

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