Government has paid GH¢3.1billion in Tier 2 pension funds to the custodial accounts of various labour unions’ pension schemes – a move that brings closure to a six-year tussle between the government and the unions over management of the funds.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with the press to mark his first year in office, explained that due to sound economic management policies his government has introduced, the battle between the labour unions and the government is over.
“We have been able to transfer some GH¢3.1billion of Tier 2 pension funds into the custodial accounts of the labour unions’ pension schemes – funds that have been outstanding for six years, and about which the labour unions had been loudly complaining,” he said.
Confirmation from the unions
Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG), told B&FT that the transfer has indeed been done. “It’s has been done; that I can confirm,” he said.
General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Justice Yankson, has also confirmed that the health sector received its share of the funds sometime in December 2017 and early January 2018.
“It has been paid. They were paid in the form of securities or investments. A little more work has to be done to resolve some outstanding issues, but with the GH¢3.1billion provisional funds, that has been cleared.”
Labour unions have for the past seven years battled government over payment of their second-tier pension funds. Even with the threat of strikes, successive governments were unable to settle the issue until now.
The affected unions are: Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG); Ghana Medical Association (GMA); Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT); Coalition of Concerned Teachers; National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT); Public and Health Service Workers Union; Ghana Registered Nurses Association; the Government Hospital Pharmacists Association and others.
According to the unions, their contributions have been held in a Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana since 2010; a situation they describe as unlawful.
The first threat of a strike was issued in 2012, with others issued in 2014, 2016 and in July last year, which finally saw government cave-in to their demands.
The unions challenged the Finance Ministry’s decision to use Pension Alliance Trust as a sole trustee of the second-tier pension scheme for all employees on government’s payroll.