We’ll pay ‘past credit’ for public sector workers -Prez
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that after extensive deliberations, the government has decided to resolve the issue of past credits between the beneficiaries of the PNDC Law 247 and the new three-tier pension scheme.
Again, the government will absorb the shortfall in the lump sum payment by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to public sector workers who retire this year.
This move, President Akufo-Addo said, was to correct unfairness in the implementation of the new pension reforms.
He disclosed this in his address to commission the refurbished Hall of the Trades Union Congress in Accra on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
According to the President, a committee would soon be put in place to supervise the implementation of that decision.
The decision came about after President Akufo-Addo August 24, 2020, received a letter sent to him by the Secretary-General, on behalf of the TUC, requesting his intervention to “correct the injustice and unfairness in the implementation of the three-tier pension system.”
The President said he referred the matter to the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, who, after careful studies and deliberations, laid out the position of the government.
Public sector workers who retired this year under the new National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) received far lesser lump sum payouts from SSNIT than those who retired under the PNDC Law 247.
This has generated disaffection among retirees and affected workers who get to retire later in the year. They have bemoaned the fact the pension reforms, which promises a better retirement income, was turning out to make them worse off, as there were significant disparities between them and those who retired under the previous arrangement.
But President Akufo-Addo assured public labour organisations that the government, as a sign of good faith to their invaluable and untiring efforts to Ghana’s development, would ensure that the issue is resolved, so that those who retired between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, are not worse off.
Touching on the refurbishment, President Akufo-Addo stated that in the run-up to the December 2016 elections, as part of several stakeholder engagements he held, he was at the Hall of Trade Unions, where he interacted with the leadership of the TUC, and outlined his vision for the transformation of the country, if he was elected President of the Republic.
“Indeed, the state of the Hall of Trade Unions, at the time of my visit in 2016, and in the early years of my administration, would have made the likes of Pobee Biney, Vidal Quist, and their successors, very sad,” he said.
Recognising and appreciating the efforts and sacrifices the TUC had made towards the construction of the happy and prosperous Ghana we seek, he stated: “That is why when the government received the request from the leadership of the TUC to assist it refurbish the Hall, we did not hesitate. I have been told by the Minister for Finance that the government’s contribution to this refurbishment was GH¢12.7 million.”
This refurbished Hall, he explained, was a fitting and proper tribute to the memory and work of the leadership of the TUC of yesteryears and today. Leaders such as Joe-Fio Meyer, John Tettegah, B.A. Bentum, A.M. Issifu, A.K. Yankey, Christian Appiah Agyei, Kwasi Adu Amankwah, and Kofi Asamoah.
“I am glad to state that the relationship between Government and Organised Labour has been one of cordiality, co-operation and mutual respect. I continue to be reassured by the determination of Organised Labour and its leadership to rally behind government to create a progressive nation, buoyed on by faster economic growth rates, and driven by the quest for decent jobs,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued: “I have been heartened by this, and I am determined, for as long as I remain President of the Republic, to continue even more firmly on this path of co-operation and collaboration, on which we have embarked, to the benefit of the working people of our country.”
President Akufo-Addo further spoke on election-related concerns, specifically, having peaceful, free, and fair polls.
He told every citizen, particularly all political parties, to commit to a peaceful electoral process, forgoing violence.
“On the larger issue of the peace of our nation in these sensitive times, let me assure you of the wholehearted efforts that are being made by my government and I to ensure the peace and stability of the nation, as we enter the home straight of the electioneering campaign. I am calling on all political actors, and the citizenry as a whole, to commit themselves to a peaceful process, and to forego any resort to violence.”