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World Bank supports Ghana to reform pensions system

OVER 25 technical staff members from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations are participating in a four-day workshop on Ghana’s Pensions System using the World Bank’s pension model, Pensions Reform Options Simulation Toolkit (PROST), organised by the World Bank from June 11 – 14 2018.

“Pensions are crucial in supporting thousands of Ghanaians after (sic) retirement. At the same time, sound management of pensions, including a well-developed policy and a program of appropriate reforms, will be critical to get on the path to Ghana beyond Aid,” said World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Henry K.G. Kerali.

“The World Bank is, therefore, committed to working with the Government of Ghana on developing a smarter and sound pensions system that is affordable for the economy and protects the elderly,” he said.

Mr Kerali stated that the World Bank’s analysis indicates that SSNIT was spending about 1% of GDP on providing pensions, which supports about 0.4% of the population.

This, he noted, did not include other pension spending in Ghana for retirees of some of the public services.

Mr Kerali stated that 20% of Ghana’s population would in future need old age support; this would require a proportionately higher expenditure, adding that it was, therefore, critical to take a close look at what changes might be made now, before workers joined the system with the expectation of a pension upon retirement.

He said the workshop and the follow-up PROST training was the result of a fruitful, multi-year technical engagement the World Bank had had with the Government of Ghana, which seeks to provide a rigorous and detailed exploration of potential areas of improvement of Ghana’s pensions system.

“We are introducing some critical reforms to the pension regime in line with our medium-term development objectives. These include transfer of all Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) funds held at Bank of Ghana to the custodian banks of registered schemes, unification of all multiple public-sector pension schemes, and guaranteeing the sustainability of the three-tier pension scheme,” said Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations reaffirmed the strong collaboration between the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the World Bank in addressing issues relating to the sector.

He stressed that the significance of the training workshop could not be overemphasised because pensions had become topical in our national development discourse and  also as one of the most common and  key pillar of the Decent Work Agenda the Government sought to promote.

He, therefore, pledged his unwavering commitment to reforming the pension regime to safeguard the retirement income security of all workers.

Mr Baffour Awuah commended the World Bank for the laudable initiative, noting that not only was it timely but also relevant and would equip participants with the requisite expertise for pension reforms and pension administration.

He added that in the reforms, the government would look at expanding pension coverage to the informal sector and work towards the sustainability, equity, and security of Ghana’s pension’s regime.

The workshop and training is led by Anita Schwarz, Lead Economist, and Himanshi Jain, Analyst from the World Bank Group’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice.

Source: www.dailyheritage.com.gh

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