THE TRADES Union Congress (TUC) has expressed concern over the delay in the payment of pension lump sum top-ups to some workers who retired in 2020 under the three-tier pension scheme – Act 766.
According to the TUC, these workers retired with inferior lump-sum benefits, compared to what they would have received if they had retired under the old pension scheme – PNDCL 247.
Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, General Secretary of the TUC, made the call recently in a press statement dated July 5, 2021 following a TUC general council meeting at Kasoa in the Central Region.
“Government has agreed to top-up the lump-sum benefits of these retirees. It is close to a year since government committed itself to pay the top-up but they are yet to receive their lump-sum top-up. The delay in the payment of the top-up is causing severe hardships for the retirees. The council urges government to make good its commitment by paying the top-up without any further delay.
“Workers who are retiring in 2021 and probably those who will retire between 2022 and 2025 may face the same challenge of inferior lump-sums. All these retirees deserve lump-sum top-up. In 2020, about 80 percent of all those who retired were entitled to lump-sum top-up which will merely bring them at par with the lump-sum they would have received under the old scheme,” he said.
He indicated that the pension reforms that gave birth to the current pension system was premised on the idea of enhancing retirement income for retirees and therefore, Government, with the support of all stakeholders, must ensure that those objectives were achieved.
“Otherwise, the reforms should be reversed and all workers should return to the SSNIT scheme for enhanced pension benefits. We repeat our call for a stakeholder forum on pensions. We foresee challenges ahead for pensioners, given the dire economic situation. We need to find a sustainable way out of the pension debacle.”
Dr Yaw Baah gave an assurance that the TUC would like to reassure its social partners that it would continue to work with them to address the multiplicity of challenges that faced the country, especially during the period of economic recovery.
“It is our fervent hope that in the spirit of social partnership, we will deal with challenges in the pensions sector and work together to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination programme,” he noted.