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02.11.2004 Regional News

Pensioners called for the decentralization of the pension processing

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Koforidua, Nov. 2, GNA - Pensioners, who appeared before the Presidential Commission on Pensions at its sitting at Koforidua on Monday, expressed their dissatisfaction at the procedure for securing the pension and the corruption at the Accountant - Generals' Department which often made life difficult for pensioners.

The immediate past President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Mr Kwame Amu-Darku called for the decentralization of the processing of the pension so that pensioners would not have to travel to Accra to process their documents.

He said he retired some few months ago and expressed his disappointments at the complicated procedure he had to pass through to get his documents processed for him to enjoy his pension.

The Chairman of Kwahu South Pensioners Association, Mr M. M. Gyan accused the Accountant - Generals' Department of corrupt practices in the payment of the arrears of the recent 50 per cent Government increases in the pension.

He alleged that the payment of the arrears of the 50 per cent increment was not following any known order but rather any pensioner who paid his or her way was provided with his or her pension.

Mr Alex Amoabeng Brakwa, a Teacher called on the Commission to advise the Social Security and national Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to up-to-date records of pension benefits.

He suggested that the SSNIT pension should be made in a way that contributors could request for part of their pension before their 60th birthday. Mr Kweku Nyamekye Boafour, of West Akim District Directorate of the National Service Scheme suggested that parents should take the SSNIT student Loans scheme on behalf of their children so that when the parents could not pay they could be taken to court.

The Chairman of the Commission Mr Thomas Bediako called on Heads of Human Resources Department and Personnel Departments to take over the processing of pension documents for pensioners.

He said it should not be the business of the pensioner to go and look for their pension documents to process their pensions but the Personnel Department and the Human Resources Department of institutions needed to resolve all matters related to pension.

Mr Bediako said the Commission would present a report that would reflect the views of workers as expressed at their sittings. He appealed to workers and pensioners to be patient with the Commission so that it could present a report that could stand the test of time to President John Agyekum Kufuor.

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