18.10.2004 Regional News

Set up occupational pensions scheme -SSNIT Area Manager

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Kumasi, Oct 18, GNA - Mr. Yaw Oko-Agyekum, Kumasi Area Manager of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has encouraged the government to come out with occupational pension scheme in addition to the SSNIT Pension Scheme.

He said, already there were some companies in the country, which were enjoying both the SSNIT pension scheme and occupational pension scheme and therefore, hoped that it would be possible for other companies and organisations to institute it.

Mr Oko-Agyekum was answering questions at a day's public sitting of the Presidential Commission on Pension in Kumasi on Monday. The Commission, set up in July this year is to come out with recommendations for a pension scheme that would ensure retirement income security for Ghanaian workers with special reference to the public sector.

The Kumasi Area Manager explained that the SSNIT pension scheme was a universal scheme which was earnings related and financially independent of government and that people could belong to it through contributions.

He said government should move away from CAP 30 pension scheme and introduce the occupational pension scheme, which would supplement the SSNIT scheme.

Mr Oko-Agyekum said it was not the SNNIT pension per se, which was not good but the salaries structure of workers was the major problem, explaining that the determination of a worker's pension was determined by the age at which he was retiring, the best salary and how much the person contributed to the pension.

Mr Thomas Ango Bediako, Chairman of the Commission, in its introductory remark, said the Commission was not only to examine the existing pension scheme but also to advise the government on the type of pension scheme that should be operated in the country with regard to its sustainability and their assurance of retiring income security.

He assured the public that the Commission would take whatever time necessary to ensure that its final reports was guided by the best practices in developing and emerging countries and that it was in conformity with international conventions and norms.

Mr Austin Gamey, a member of the Commission, called on teachers to ensure that the Ghana Education Service (GES) implemented their service conditions to the latter.

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