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Don’t touch our Pension funds – CLOGSAG to govt 

Don’t touch our Pension funds – CLOGSAG to govt

Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) has issued a stern warning to government to desist from touching any member(s) or individual pension funds or bond during the Domestic Debt Exchange programme announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta last week.

The Finance Minister, in order to ameliorate and curb the debt situation launched a debt sustainability or exchange programme that would enable government to take steps to reach $ 3bn deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to alleviate the country from the present economic hardship.

At a press conference organised by CLOGAG to announce their displeasure over any ‘haircut’ that is likely to affect any individual bondholder or pension funds during running of the programme, threatened to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike if government dares touch any individual fund or bond.

The Executive secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo who spoke on behalf of the members send a strong signal to also National Labour Commission that should government default in honouring any of the coupons of the individual bondholders or funds when due for the schemes, the association will not hesitate to declare a nationwide strike.

He explained further that based on the Finance Minister’s statement at the launch of the programme said, no individual bondholder or any fund would be affected otherwise known as ‘Haircut’, adding that, they will not take it likely should any member’s bond or fund is touched after maturity.

The Executive Secretary attributed that the finance minister’s explanation to the domestic debt exchange programme attest to the fact that Treasury Bills holders are completely exempted, there will be no haircut and individual holders of bonds will not be affected.

“ the government of Ghana has been working hard to minimize the impact of the domestic debt exchange on investors holding government bonds, particularly small investors, individuals and other bonds”, he quoted the finance minister.

Under the Vesting and Protection of accrued benefits of contributors to pension schemes, Mr. Bampoe Addo reference section 98 and 102 of the National Pension Act, 2000 (Act 766) which states- (1) A contribution in respect of a member of a scheme vests in a member as accrued benefits as soon as it is paid to the approved trustees of the scheme.

And (2) Income or Profits derived from the investment of the accrued benefits of a member of a scheme by or on behalf of a scheme of the approved trustee of the scheme shall, vest in the member as accrued benefits when received by that trustee after taking into account any loss arising from the investment.

He further quoted the Protection of accrued benefits under section 102 that the accrued benefits of a member in an occupational pension scheme shall not be attached in execution of judgement debt or be used as a charge, pledge, lien or be transferred, assigned or alienated by or behalf of the member.

(2) A disposition that is contrary to subsection (1) is void.

He therefore claimed that with reference to section 98 as read above, pension funds are to be viewed as contributions of individuals and should be treated as such, stating that, individual contributions and earnings in the Pension fund is vest in the individual and not the Trustee.

“ Therefore a decision on any variation is the responsibility of the individual and not the Trustee who is managing the fund”, he noted.

Source: Eric Nii Sackey

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