TUC, CLOGSAG must engage on Tier 2 Pension now!!!!!!

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) have this week been in the news over the implementation of the Tier-2 occupational pension scheme.

The Tier 2 pension scheme is the final lap of the 10-year pension reform exercise started in 2010 and anchored on the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), which established the three-tier scheme, to be regulated by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

Scheduled for implementation from January 1 next year, the Tier 2 allows workers to run their own private schemes which will collect contributions and invest.

When implemented, persons who go on pension will only receive monthly payment from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and not their lump sum payments which will be taken care of by their Tier-2 pension schemes.

The Ghanaian Times understands this is the subject of disagreement between the two labour unions.

The TUC has called for postponement of the implementation date because Tier-2 occupational schemes contributions were only transferred from the Temporary Fund Pension Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana last year and there is no guarantee retirees will be able to get a lump sum equal to what they would have received from SSNIT.

Dr Yaw Baah, TUC Secretary-General explained that the period between the transfer and implementation of Tier 2 was short and that investing those funds would not “yield anything meaningful” for workers.

“Not only that; there are still public sector workers who do not know which schemes they belong to. So there are still implementation challenges that are being sorted out and I think that we need more time,” he said.

However, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, addressing a press conference in Accra stated that the comments by TUC are regrettable and not factual.

He said the TUC’s reason for calling for another extension of the implementation of the Tier 2 occupational pension scheme was not supported by facts.

According to CLOGSAG, the suggestion by TUC is a strategy to cripple and destroy this enviable policy on pensions, adding that “they will not sit unconcerned for this policy to be derailed on fake arguments.

He said the viability of each of the occupational pension schemes could be assessed by the schemes themselves adding that none of the public sector operational schemes has said they needed more time or further extension.

The Ghanaian Times is not interested in which group is making the most reasonable argument.

Our only concern is how we can improve pension payouts and make workers enjoy decent lives.

We are not sure a public disagreement between two groups with a lot of members is the way to go.

It is said that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

We call for cool heads and continuous engagements to iron out any disagreement on the Tier 2 pension scheme.

We need a united front to fight the common enemy of workers, that’s poor working conditions, which makes them worse off.

The TUC and CLOGSAG must know that media spat does not address any concerns on whether or not the various schemes are in a position to pay lump sum to workers.

We call on them to remain focused on efforts to make workers better.

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