About nine million people working in the country without any form of pension risk slumping into retirement without income security, the Head of the Corporate Affairs of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Nana Sifa Twum, has stated.
He said that between the next five and 10 years, the working individuals without any form of pension would retire poor and become a liability on their families and society if the situation was not addressed.
Nana Twum who stated this in an interview after the launch of Pension Sunday at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church at Osu in Accra at the weekend, said the low pension penetration in the informal sector was due to the notion that pension was created for only formal sector workers.
The NPRA in collaboration with the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has instituted and launched the Pension Sunday, to among other things, educate and sensitise church members to improve pension literacy and enhance pension coverage in the country.
Mr Twum said it was estimated that about 85 per cent of the working population in the country was found in the informal sector and that painted a very gloomy picture of the Ghanaian working force.
He said the NPRA was working to bring more informal sector workers on pension, stating that
“Less than one per cent informal sector workers were on pension, but the NPRA has worked hard to bring about seven per cent of them onto pension schemes.”
“Many pragmatic programmes have been put in place by the authority to raise the figure to about 25 per cent in the next five years,” Mr Twum stated.
He announced that the authority was working towards replicating Pensions Sunday in all churches.
Launching the programme, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Right Reverend Professor J.O.Y Mante, expressed optimism that the programme would bring about the needed awareness among Ghanaians, especially members of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and to whip up their enthusiasm to plan for their retirement.
He said the bible required Christians to live in dignity and financially sound and therefore the programme had come at the right time when people would prepare well towards their retirement.
Right Reverend Mante explained that the church worked towards the holistic wellbeing of its members and as members were fed with the spiritual information, they must also be well-educated on social and economic issues.
He called on the leadership of the Presbyterian churches in the country to liaise with the NPRA in the regions to make the programme successful.
Right Reverend Mante called on the government to institute every October as a pension month to create awareness on pension matters.