The Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) has called on the government, through the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), to immediately release its tier two pension fund to the Ghana Education Service (GES) Occupational Pension Scheme Board to enable it to invest such fund.
“This is to ensure that when our members retire in the year 2020, they will not be short-changed in the payment of the lump sum of their retirement benefits. As it stands, any further delay will affect the retirement income security of our members and cause them not to have the full benefit of their retirement package,” it said.
A statement signed by the General Secretary of TEWU, Mr Augustine Saakuur Karbo, said the union had been patient with the government and its agencies so far with regard to the controversy surrounding the tier two pension funds.
“We urge all our members to remain calm while we pursue this matter to its logical conclusion. However, any further excuses in delaying the release of the funds may compel the union to advise itself,” it said.
The TEWU leadership also reminded the government, especially the Ministry of Education, not to rush to implement the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy without a nationwide sensitisation and education on the policy.
“TEWU has learnt with grave disappointment that there will not be any government matching contribution to what each person contributes, contrary to what union leaders were initially made to believe, and we, therefore, see this as an official deception. If it is true that the government is making a matching contribution of GH¢10.00 per member per month, bringing the total contribution per member per month to GH¢20.00, we request a review of the benefits upward and a refund of some percentage of total contribution to those who will not benefit from the policy before going on retirement,” it said.
The union said since the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy was not compulsory but voluntary, there must be forms made available to all staff during education and sensitisation fora where interested members could subscribe to it voluntarily.
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“We insist that deductions should be made after the education and sensitisation fora have been completed in all the regions. We are strongly opposed to making all staff part of the policy and requesting those who don’t want it to opt out.”
TEWU maintained that the September deadline for deductions to resume for the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy would be fearlessly resisted because the sensitisation and education programme was done only in the Ashanti Region, with the remaining nine regions yet to have their turns.
“So we urge our members all over the country to exercise restraint, and those who are genuinely interested can fill the forms after the education and sensitisation programme. We demand an unconditional refund of staff deductions made in the month of June 2018 with immediate effect,” they stated.