Mr Stanley Ogoe, Western Regional Director of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), has disclosed that the Authority is planning to start a campaign to educate the informal sector workers on the benefits of a retirement plan and becoming members of a pension scheme.
Mr Ogoe made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V. He revealed that plans are afoot for the Regulatory Authority to roll out some programmes geared towards public awareness in the coming weeks.
According to the Western Regional Director, workers in the informal sector have shown the least interest in the three-tier pension scheme. He thus, noted that, there is the need to educate and encourage them to sign onto, at least one of the schemes regulated by the Authority.
Mr Ogoe explained that the NPRA, which was established by the National Pensions Act 2008, (Act 766), to regulate and monitor the operations of the three-tier pension scheme, and to ensure effective administration of all pensions in the country.
Mr Ogoe added that the Authority has approved, regulated and monitored trustees, pension fund managers, custodians and other institutions that handle pensions. He also stated that NPRA has established standards, rules and guidelines for the management of pension funds under the Pensions Act.
The Western Regional Director averred that in the capacity of the Authority, the NPRA receives and investigate complaints of impropriety in respect of the management of pension schemes, and to sensitize the public on matters relating to the various pension schemes.
Mr Ogoe stated that all is set for the NPRA to hold a public forum in Sekondi to sensitize and address the concerns of the public regarding pension plans. He said they will use drama to demonstrate ways to prepare for retirement and its corresponding benefits to market women in the Metropolis. He further added that they would undertake radio sensitization and partner all trustees under the Authority to adequately educate the public during the Pensions Week celebration.
Nana Kobina Nketsia, on his part, commended the leadership of the NPRA for the plans to educate the public especially the informal sector. He stressed that, one could not do away with retirement and that there is the need to properly prepare for it.
Nana Kobina Nketsia urged NPRA to be extra vigilant, transparent and accountable in regulating the Trustees, Fund Managers, as well as the stakeholders under their supervision to ensure that contributor’s monies are well secured, especially at a time when there have been so much malfeasances in the financial sector.
Nana Nketsia concluded that the Ghanaian economy is wreathed with inflation instability, which often make it difficult for the average Ghanaian to invest. He subsequently charged NPRA to be proactive in managing the funds of contributors.
It can be recalled that Mr. Alhassan Yakubu Fuseini, the Tamale Zonal Manager of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), made a similar called. He also stated that workers need to be educated on how pension schemes work.
According to Mr. Fuseini, learning, knowledge, and best practices needed to effectively chart the course of the pensions sector in Ghana are missing in the pensions discourse.