The National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and Ministry of Finance, is to hold the first-ever National Pensions Awareness Week October 25-29
The objective is to engage workers in the informal sector to whip their interest and also encourage them to understand and appreciate the urgent need to register for a pension scheme for secure retirement income security.
To be held on the theme, “Total Participation in Pensions to ensure Retirement Income Security,” the event will provide the platform to engage stakeholders on the development of pensions to invigorate a nationwide awareness on pensions.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Mr Ignagious Bafour Awuah, will launch the week long activities at Koforidua today at the Koforidua Jubilee Park.
The NPRA in a statement said the week-long programme had become necessary in view of the low pension penetration among informal workers.
It said the data available indicated that the pension coverage in the country was still low.
The NPRA said as part of its mandate, the Authority had been actively engaged in education and sensitization on all pension-related matters in the country for the past ten years.
“Despite the enormous efforts by the Authority to whip up the interest among the Ghanaian working populace, especially those in the informal sector, to register on pension schemes, the Authority believes there is more to be done to raise the awareness on pensions in the country,”the NPRA, said.
It said it was estimated that about 85 per cent of the working population in the country was found in the informal sector.
“The need for these workers to be on pension schemes has been a primary concern to the Authority. This needs to be done to reduce poverty and other old age and retirement challenges ahead of the Ghanaian worker within the coming years,” the Authority, said.
The NPRA said it was worrying that due to Ghana’s aging population, more and older people found themselves in a difficult financial situation when they reached retirement age because of a lack of sufficient savings, and as housing costs and medical expenses rise.
“Many people in the informal sector reaching retirement age do not have any of the pensions schemes that some workers in the formal sector have and often have not put enough money into savings,” the NPRA said.
Other activities to mark the week include visits by Management to Private Institutions such as Driver Unions, Beauticians Association of Ghana, Traditional Councils, Christian Councils across the country.
The Authority will also use the occasion to engage the media to drum home pension matters and make known the activities of the NPRA to the general public. There would also be programmes at the markets, communities and workplaces to sensitise workers: public lectures, stakeholder engagements and quiz programme for students.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE