Negotiated Benefits Trust Company Limited (NBC Ghana Trust), one of the leading private pensions company in the country, has launched a pension product for both formal and informal sector workers.
Dubbed NBC Gold Plan, the product is meant to help enrol formal and informal sector workers on pension for them to enjoy retirement income security.
Speaking to reporters about the product after a panel discussion on retirement planning, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBC Ghana Trust, William Asiedu Yeboah, said the NBC Gold Plan had become necessary in view of the low pension penetration in the country, particularly for informal sector workers.
The forum attended by the officials from National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ghana Statistical Service, players in the private pensions industry was on the theme “Reliable Retirement Planning.”
He said statistics indicated that pension’s coverage by SSNIT was about two million out of a working population of 14 million.
MrAsiedu said it was, therefore, imperative mechanisms were put in place for those in the informal sector to be covered with pensions.
“We have been on this pensions journey with the private sector for the past 10 years and one of our objectives is to ensure that we widen the coverage for pensions. That means that apart from those in the formal sector, we should have arrangement in place for those who are self-employed and those in the informal sector,” he said.
Mr Asiedu said more than 80 per cent of working adult were in the informal sector and that was of major interest to the NBC Ghana Trust.
He said the NBC Gold Plan, licensed by the NPRA, was designed to help informal and formal sector workers to sign on a pension product to enjoy retirement income security.
He said with a minimum of GH¢50.00 informal sector workers could join the scheme, adding that formal sector workers could join to complement their SSNIT pension.
“By making regular contributions into an interest bearing fund, you build your retirement fund while taking advantage of the tax-deductible benefits on your contributions and your investment income,” he said.
Mr Asiedu said the ambition of the NBC Ghana Trust was to enrol at least 100,000 workers on the NBC Gold Plan in the next three years.
“The numbers in the informal sector are staggering and we can open our doors to as many as possible and if we can get at least 50,000 people joining we would have achieved an impact in the informal sector,” he said.
Mr Asiedu disclosed that currently, the NBC Ghana Trust currently had more than 40,000 active members.
The Director of Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ernest Amartey-Vondee, urged the workers to save towards their retirement income security.
That, he said, was crucial to help retirees to lead independent lives and not become a liability on their families.
MrAmartey-Vondee urged workers to ensure that the pensions companies that they bought pension products and services from were licensed by the NPRA.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE