07.06.2005 General News

JAK concedes workers salaries unrealistic

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Commission on Public Service Pension Schemes presents report Accra, June 7, GNA - The nine-member Presidential Commission on Public Service Pension Schemes on Tuesday presented its Interim report to the Government at the Castle, Osu.

The 156-page report included a comprehensive examination and evaluation of Public Sector Pension arrangements, especially CAP 30 and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Others are occupational pension arrangements in the private sector as well as public and private pension arrangements in selected countries, analysis of the adequacy and fairness of current pension arrangements in the public sector.

Receiving the report, President John Agyekum Kufuor said it would be the modality for the debate on realistic pay structure in the country.

"Your work impinges on public debate on pay structure of the country. Up to date we do not pay ourselves realistically, especially the public sector."

President Kufuor expressed appreciation to the Commission for its historic work in the preparation of such an important document for Ghana.

He said the Government would study the report in detail since it would contain useful materials for the country.

Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister, said the work of the Commission was part of the systematic and scientific method being adopted by the Government to solve the problem on pension but not any ad-hoc measures.

He said the Government would study the report because money was required to cater for workers on their pension.

"Workers should look forward for a comfortable pension," he said, adding that the issue on pension should be a problem for all workers and not the Government alone. The debate on realistic salaries and wages should, therefore, be a national affair since it affected everyone in the society.

Mr T.A. Bediako, Former Secretary-General of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), a Private Consultant in Labour Relations and Chairman of the Commission, said a legacy the Government could leave for Ghanaians was to ensure that pensioners were recognized.

He said pensioners should be recognized and treated as men and women who had contributed immensely to the development of the nation and were entitled to adequate retirement income.

"The Commission is of the view that the state, employers and workers should provide resources for sustaining workers after retirement."

Mr Bediako said the establishment of the Commission was unique because it was the first time in the post-independence era that a Commission had been established by a Government solely to undertake a comprehensive review of pension schemes in Ghana.

The Commission was inaugurated on August 4, last year, to examine existing pension arrangements and make appropriate recommendations for a sustainable pension scheme or schemes that would ensure retirement income security for Ghanaian workers with special reference to the public sector.

Following agitations from teachers and civil servants that they should be placed on CAP 30 Pension Scheme, which had better conditions than the present SSNIT Pension and the restoration of the End of Service Benefits to them, President Kufuor promised to establish a Commission to examine their proposals.

Other members of the Commission are Ms. Josephine Amoah, Commissioner, National Insurance Commission; Mr Austin Gamey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gamey and Gamey Academy of Mediation and Former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy Minister of Manpower Development and Mr Martin Esson Benjamin, Chairman, Ghana Brewery Limited and Member of Ghana Investment Advisory Council.

The rest are Chief Adam, Former Managing Director of Electricity Company of Ghana; Mr Andrew K. Asamoah, Former Director of Human Resources, WHO, Geneva; Captain Joel K. Sowu, a Retired Army Officer; Mr Daniel Aidoo Mensah, Former Managing Director of Metropolitan Insurance and Mrs I.M.A. Wontumi, a Retired Civil Servant.

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