The Office of the Chief Justice has created a special court for the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to begin prosecuting employers who have defaulted in the payment of Tier Two pension contributions on behalf of their employees.
The move has become necessary as lots of employers have failed to pay the Tier Two pension contributions for their respective employees, as required by law, despite various representations made to make them pay.
To initiate the process, the Authority has already trained a number of Judges and Prosecutors to begin implementing the new judicial enforcement process. The intended prosecutions are expected to begin during the second half of 2019.
According to the NPRA, its Compliance Officers will soon swoop on employers to demand for evidence of Tier Two pension contribution payments from them and if they are unable to provide the required documents, this would give the NPRA the reasonable cause to prosecute such offenders.
Speaking exclusively to the Goldstreet Business last Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPRA, Mr. Hayford Attah Krufi noted that the difficulty facing his outfit in this regard is the fact that such employers are not within their radar’s reach to effectively track them on their compliance level.
“We have been given a Legislative Instrument by the Attorney General and we are ready to begin the prosecution. This will make sure that the mandatory aspects of pension with regards to the Tier Two are fully complied with by employers”, Mr. Atta Krufi warned.
In recent times, the private pensions regulator has been engaging with SSNIT and Organised Labour on pension issues which are geared towards instituting a number of reforms aimed at making pension benefits sustainable.
The National Pension Act, 2008 (Act 766) mandated the establishment of a new contributory Three-Tier Pension Scheme with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority to oversee the efficient administration of the composite pension schemes.
The First Tier is the Basic National Social Security Scheme for all workers in Ghana. It is a defined benefit scheme and mandatory for workers to have 13.5 percent contributions made on their behalf. The contribution is managed by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)
The Second Tier is a defined contributory Occupational Pension Scheme mandatory for workers with 5 percent contribution made on behalf of members. The contribution is managed privately by approved Trustees whereas the Third Tier which includes all Provident Funds and all other Pension Funds outside Tiers I and II is a voluntary scheme.
By Dundas Whigham