The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on government to reconsider its decision to exclude security service agencies in the country from the unification of pensions.
This comes after President Akufo-Addo, in his State of the Nation Address to end his first term in office, announced government’s decision to exclude all security agencies from the unification of pension benefits.
The unification seeks to bring all pension schemes under the three-tier system by the end of the year.
It will be recalled that, after an examination of a report on the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), government in August 2020, excluded the Police Service, the Immigration Service, the National Fire Service, the Prison Service and intelligence agencies from the unification and allowed these services to remain on their already existing pension programmes.
But in its 2021 New Year Message, the Trades Union Congress stated that they cannot support the policy.
According to TUC, the pension unification is an important component of the pension reform and the decision to allow security agencies to continue to enjoy benefits under the non-contributory CAP 30 scheme undermines the solidarity principle which served as a key guiding principle for the pension reform initiative.
They further noted that the decision also contravenes the principle of equality of treatment in employment, as clearly stipulated in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 111 (Discrimination–Employment and Occupation) which was ratified by Ghana in 1961.
“It also entrenches a class system in pension administration where workers under the Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) scheme, who contribute toward their pensions, have inferior pension benefits compared to those who do not contribute towards their pension under the CAP 30 scheme,” TUC added.
The Trades Union Congress, however, commended government for approving the top-up of pension benefits for workers who retired in 2020 under the new Pensions Act (Act 766).
TUC also appealed to government to pay the top-up to the beneficiaries as soon as possible.
“We know that workers who will retire in 2021 and 2022 may also face the same challenge. We appeal to government to ensure that no worker is worse-off no matter which year they retire. Government must bear the full responsibility of any shortfall in pension benefits until the benefits under Act 766 and PNDCL 247 are equated,” TUC noted in its statement.