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Forum accuses SSNIT of delays in payment of past credit

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Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo (middle), Chairman of the Forum and Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana, addressing the forum. With him are Mr King Ali Awudu (right), President, Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association, and Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo (left), President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association and member of the Forum. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

A forum of public sector associations and unions has accused the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) of attempts to deliberately delay the payment of past credit to members.
The past credit is the contribution workers made to SSNIT before the coming into force of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), which brought about the three-tier pension scheme.

Eleven years after the three-tier pension scheme became operational, SSNIT is alleged to have been holding on to part of tier-two funds in the form of past credit.

This is after the National Labour Commission (NLC) had intervened and settled a similar issue of past credit between the two parties in February 2020.

Event

At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of the FORUM, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, observed that “it is the delay in establishing an acceptable basis for the computation of past credits and subsequent transfer of past credits for members belonging to the public sector schemes that led the FORUM to threaten an industrial action in February 2020”.

“The NLC stepped in to amicably settle the impasse between the FORUM and SSNIT on past credit and related matters,” he added.

Eventually, he said, the government, along with SSNIT and the FORUM, agreed on terms of settlement that ought to have finally dealt with all issues concerning past credit and its transfer to public sector schemes.

According to Mr Addo, the terms of agreement were adopted by the NLC as the consent ruling on the matter in a letter dated October 26, 2020.

“By consent, all proceedings in this matter be stayed except for the purpose of carrying out such terms into effect,” he added.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference stipulate that SSNIT shall demonstrate the basis for computation of past credit to the FORUM and other stakeholders by October 29, 2020.

The Government of Ghana (GoG) Treasury Bill rate must be used in calculating the past credit by SSNIT and shall be made available to all parties by October 29, last year.

The committee shall determine the quantum of past credit for each beneficiary and also come up with modalities to transfer past credit in the custody of SSNIT to the tier-two schemes, with emphasis on the five public sector schemes, before the reading of the next budget.

And that until the transfer of past credit to the five public sector schemes, SSNIT shall continue to apply 100 per cent of prevailing 91-day GoG T-bill rates compounded quarterly and cumulatively, among others.

Modalities for transfer

Mr Addo further said based on the terms of settlement, subsequent engagements enabled the partners to agree on July 2021 to settle all issues relating to data on past credit, applicable interest rates and the formula for computing past credit.

He said the FORUM was hopeful that at the last meeting held on November 16, 2021, the quantum of past credit in the custody of SSNIT would have been declared and modalities for the transfer of same laid on the table.

“But, as is characteristic of SSNIT, it came to the meeting unprepared to further delay the process.

“The FORUM will no longer compromise on this matter.

If, by December 31, 2021, the past credit in the custody of SSNIT for the public sector schemes is not transferred, we will advise ourselves,”

Credit:GraphicOnline

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