The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, (NPRA), Mr Hayford Attah-Krufi, has stated that pensioners do not need lawyers to access their pension benefits after retirement.
He said the days when pensioners went through struggle to access their benefits were over because of the electronic measures the Authority had put in place for all pensions providers to follow particularly the Social Security and National Insurance Trust.
Mr Attah-Krufi, who disclosed this during an outreach campaign by the NPRA in the Oti Region, bemoaned the practice where some pensioners chased their benefits for years and thus led miserable lives.
The outreach programme was to encourage the informal sector workers in the area to understand and appreciate the need to join and actively participate in pension schemes.
The week-long programme saw forums on pensions at Kete-Krachi, Dambai and Nkwanta to educate the informal sector workers.
The NPRA also educated formal sector workers on pensions issues affecting them and also engaged market women, drivers and other traders at markets and lorry terminals.
Mr Attah-Krufi said when all processes were done well and in time, accessing one’s pension benefit must not be surrounded by any form of litigation or end in the law courts.
“After serving one’s country, no one needs to go through any form of stress to receive what is due him or her” he noted.
Mr Attah-Krufi advised employees to regularly update their records with the pension service providers especially SSNIT to facilitate the processing of their benefits.
He mentioned some of the causes of delays in the processing of pension benefits as multiple dates of birth, irregular gaps in contribution and change of names and cautioned employees to check these before their retirement.
He said the third-tier pension scheme is designed to help the informal sector workers to participate in pensions to enable them to avert old-age poverty, explaining it was a voluntary, fully funded by members and a privately managed provident fund and personal pension scheme that ensured retirement income security for all Ghanaians.
He observed that pensions were profound social interventions that were designed to deliver social benefits and develop the human capital of .workers in the informal sector, adding that the three-tier pension scheme as a safety net and social protection.
The Oti Regional Minister, Dr Joshua Makubu expressed delight in the efforts by the NPRA to bring pension matters close to the people in the region.
He said it was time for all Ghanaians workers to be on a pension scheme irrespective of the work they did.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE