Mr Stanley Ogoe, Western Regional Director of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has hinted that the Authority is taking steps to enlighten the informal sector workers on the benefits of having a retirement plan and becoming members of pension schemes to enable them to start their retirement plans early.
He noted that workers in the informal sector so far, have shown the least interest in the 3-tier pension scheme and for that matter the NPRA was therefore encouraging workers in the informal sector to enrol in other schemes regulated by their Authority.
Mr Ogoe who made this known during a courtesy call on the Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, said that the Directorate will hold a public forum in Sekondi to sensitize and address the concern of the public regarding pension plans, and use drama to demonstrate ways to prepare for retirement and its corresponding benefits to market women in the Metropolis.
He further stressed that they would undertake radio sensitization and partner all the trustees under the Authority as part of the sensitization drive which forms part of activities marking the Pensions Week celebration which falls within October, the Month of Customer Care.
Mr Ogoe mentioned that the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) was established by the National Pensions Act 2008, (Act 766) to regulate and monitor the operations of the three-tier pension scheme and ensure effective administration of all pensions in the country.
He announced that the objective of the Authority was to regulate and monitor the operation of the 3-Tier Pension Scheme and ensure the effective administration of pensions in the country, register occupational pension schemes, provident funds and personal pension schemes; and issue guidelines for the investment of pension funds.
He enlightened that the Authority also approves, regulates and monitors trustees, pension fund managers, custodians and other institutions that deal with pensions as the Authority may determine as well as establish standards, rules and guidelines for the management of pension funds under this Act.
He added that the NPRA receives and investigates complaints of impropriety in respect of the management of pension schemes, and sensitizes the public on matters related to the various pension schemes and for that matter plans were afoot for the Authority to roll out a number of programs geared toward public awareness in the coming week.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V on his part commended them for the plans to sensitize the public especially, the informal sector to whip up their interest in that one cannot do away with retirement and there was therefore the need to put proper plans ahead before retiring.
According to him, most Ghanaians are traders belonging to the informal sector which forms the larger part of the economy but has not been properly taken care of in terms of retirement.
He called on them to be extra vigilant in regulating the trustees and fund managers as well as the stakeholders under them while exhibiting transparency and accountability to make sure that contributors moneys were secured especially, at a time when we have witnessed so much malfeasances in the financial sector.
Nana Nketsia V also noted that the Ghanaian economy is bedevilled with inflation instability which often makes it difficult for the average Ghanaian to put in investment and therefore impressed upon them to be proactive in managing the funds of contributors.