KNUST pensioners stage protest over deductions from ex-gratia

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Pensioners Demonstration
Pensioners Demonstration

Some pensioners of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who retired over the last two years, have demonstrated against what they described as “unfair deductions from their ex-gratia”.

The former workers, comprising senior and junior staff as well as senior members, are threatening a legal action if those deductions were not halted.

“We the members of KNUST 2019/2020 pensioners are unhappy about the unlawful deductions of 17.5 per cent from senior staff, 10 per cent from junior staff and 25 per cent from senior members from our ex-gratia without our consent.

“The pensioners, comprising over 150 people, are raising red flags over what we describe as deliberate and inhuman deductions aimed at extorting us to aggravate our dire situation,” Mr. Daniel Bannor, the Spokesperson, told the media in Kumasi.

He implored authorities of the KNUST and all those who mattered in the issue “to stop any further deductions and refund all monies that are illegally deducted from the ex-gratia or face our wrath.”

The refund, according to the pensioners, ought to be done before Monday, March 29, 2021.

“We will take legal action against the University if the authorities fail to refund our due monies with immediate effect, because we are fed up with the vile promises,” Mr. Bannor insisted.

He indicated that the pensioners had provided all material proof concerning their agitations, following a meeting with the KNUST Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson, as well as the Registrar and Finance Officer.

However, the leadership had turned a deaf ear to their calls, the Spokesperson stressed.

Reacting to the concerns of the pensioners, the KNUST authorities, in a statement signed by the Deputy Registrar and University Relations Officer, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, said those deductions followed the new Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896).

Specifically, section 4.6.4 states that, “End of service benefits and ex-gratia paid either in cash or in kind is taxable,” the statement emphasized.

It explained that this tax applied to all staff of all public universities in Ghana who qualified for such packages.

“The deductions are as a result not unlawful or discriminatory,” the statement noted, adding that this had been communicated extensively to the 2019/2020 retirees and copies of the new Income Tax Act made available to the group.

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