Prison Service educates workers on new pension scheme (pg 31)

THE Ghana Prisons Service has organised a sensitisation programme to enlighten prison officers in the prospects of the new three-tier National Pension Scheme.
The two-day programme, which was in collaboration with AA and K Consulting Services Limited, a tax and management firm, was attended by 50 prisons officers drawn from the 10 regions of the country.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior, Naana Ampratwum, the Minister of the Interior, Mr Cletus Avokah, said “the issue of workers’ pay and other emoluments had always been a sour point between the government and employees, especially in our part of the world, where government is the biggest employer”.
Mr Avokah stated that the new scheme provided equity standards for all workers through the establishment of a uniform set of rules, regulations and standard for the administration and payment of retirement benefits to all workers, stating that the government had put stringent measures in place to ensure that the scheme managers lived up to expectation.
He said the government was committed to the issue of improved income on retirement to the Ghanaian worker in both the private and public sectors, hence the introduction of the scheme.
Mr Avokah noted that “the point can hardly be denied that many pensioners have been condemned to lives of destitution or grinding poverty due to lack of an appropriate scheme to compensate for their years of toil and dedicated service to the nation, which has killed many prematurely”, adding that the new scheme would stem the tide of the collective insensitivity to the pitiful plight of pensioners and guarantee a decent post working life.
The Acting Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Michael Kofi Bansah, said the National Pension Scheme had come to salvage and demystify problems created by the old pension scheme and “restore hope and more dignified life prospects to employees after they proceed on retirement”.
He noted that the uncertainties of retirement caused fear and depression in people nearing the mandatory retirement age and even forced others “to tamper with their dates of birth in order to stay a few more years” when in fact they should be expecting retirement with euphoria.
Mr Bansah urged the participants to the take the seminar seriously so they could be well equipped to educate their colleagues all over the country.
The Director of Finance and Administration of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mrs Matilda Baffour-Awuah, said the new scheme provided the opportunity for workers to take their destinies into their own hands in order to save and plan for a comfortable retirement, adding that “we will put our heads together to establish and manage both the workplace mandatory and voluntary schemes, bearing in mind the need to save enough funds for our retirement and old age”.

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