Exempt us from Domestic Debt X’change programme – Pensioners Bondholders Forum

 Over 200 pensioners who hold government bonds have petitioned the government to exempt them from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

They argued that they should be given the same exemption given to Pension Funds being regulated by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority.

The basis for the exemption of the Pension Funds by the government was to ensure that pension incomes to would-be retir­ees were not impaired for them to become burden on others when on retirement.

The convenor of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, a forum for the protection, Dr Adu A. Antwi, at a press conference in Accra yes­terday noted that the basis for the exemption of the Pension Funds “holds good for the exemption of the investments of pensioners in Government Bonds from DDEP”.

“We, therefore, hereby passion­ately appeal to your good office to exclude all Pensioner Bond holders from the DDEP as the impact of the programme on pensioners who are bondhold­ers will be very severe,” he added.

According to him, most pension bond holders made investments in government securities with the expectation that the coupons would supplement the pension received through the Tier One Pension Scheme under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

“These government bonds are considered everywhere as gilt-edged and the safest securities to invest in and as pensioners, we had the greater motivation to invest these securities for both safety and liquidity considerations,” Dr Antwi added.

However, Dr Antwi explained that a lot of pensioners who were equally vulnerable in society would not live long enough to receive their investments given the Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum terms of the DDEP.

Dr Antwi further indicated that the best way to address the issue was to engage the pensioners in a negotiation as they were ready to engage the government in that regard.

He indicated that the forum had decided not to apply for or respond to the “invitation to treat” by government following its peti­tion and had advised its members not to do so.


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