Government and Labour Reached A Deal Over Pensions
By Christian Kpesese
The Government of Ghana and Public Sector workers have reached an amicable resolution on the way forward for the effective operationalization of the country`s mandatory 2nd Tier occupational Pension scheme under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766).
The deal was reached following several labour agitations against government when it appointed Pensions Alliance Trust as the sole manager of tier II on behalf of some public sector workers in the country.
Ghana’s Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Haruna Iddrisu who announced the resolution in Accra said the out of court settlement agreement was reached after both sides , thus government and workers had decided that a joint committee to be set up to look in to the dispute surrounding the implementation of the work-based scheme under the Pensions Act.
Government’s action the Minister stated was solely motivated by its quest to legitimate and safeguard the retirement benefits of all workers.
It would be recalled that government as an employer resorted to the law Court to seek for interpretation of relevant provisions of Act 766 to determine whether Pensions Alliance Trust which it ( Government) has engaged or the four Trustees proposed by the four Labour Unions should operationalize the II Tier scheme.
In the spirit of social partnership aimed at ensuring an amicable settlement of the dispute for their mutual benefit, both parties agreed for the setting up of the “Peter Hayibor Resolution Committee’’ to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
The following broad lines for the operationalization of the Tier II pensions based on the committee`s recommendations have been accepted by both government and workers;
- That the multiple schemes should be allowed to exist and operated with variations which includes; –
the reconstitution of the Boards of Trustees of each Union with representatives from employers and workers,
– the employer shall nominate the chairperson for each of the Board of Trustees.
- That two Fund Managers will be appointed for each scheme, one to be nominated by the employer and the other by the workers.
- That the employer shall nominate the custodian for all the four schemes
- That an independent Trustee shall be nominated by the workers for approval by the Board of Trustees.
- That the composition of the various Boards of Trustees should be as proposed by the employer;
- That some rules would be amended to reflect the proposals.
Each scheme would also have one scheme administrator in order to guarantee the smooth administration of the scheme.
The respective Labour Unions including the Health sector workers union, CLOGSAG and the Judicial Service would nominate their respective scheme administrators whilst Government would nominate a competent administrator for the Educational sector workers union, the largest of all the four unions.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu disclosed that the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has transferred funds from the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana to two employer sponsored schemes in the private sector.
In a related development, the minister disclosed that, for the first time in the nation’s history, government has developed codified conditions of service for medical doctors.
This was after a fruitful negotiation with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) which had embarked upon several strike actions over conditions of service.
Details of the conditions of service for public sector medical doctors he said would be made known at an appropriate time.