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NTHC To Take Over SISF   
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NTHC Trustees Ltd. will soon take over management of the SSNIT Informal Sector Pension Scheme currently managed by the SSNIT Informal Sector Fund (SISF).

NTHC will not take over the entire 3rd Tier of the new national pension scheme, nor is SISF the current manager of the 3rd Tier as B&FT reported on Monday.

The actual arrangement is that the Informal Sector Pension Scheme currently managed by SISF will be registered as a private scheme under the 3rd Tier of the new pensions-regime and managed by NTHC Trustees Ltd, a corporate trustee set up by NTHC Limited and licenced by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

SSNIT introduced the Informal Sector Pension Scheme on pilot basis in May 2005 as a voluntary contributory pension scheme designed principally for workers in the informal sector, providing members with benefits that are based exclusively on their contributions.

This followed studies undertaken by the Trust’s Research Department -- and corroborated by a team from the World Bank -- that found the SSNIT Pension Scheme was not suited to the informal sector due to the pattern of incomes in the sector, which is essentially unpredictable and irregular.

Its administration was initially handled by a specialised department within the Operations Division of the Trust. However, in February 2008, the SSNIT Informal Sector Fund (SISF) was set up to take over administration of the scheme.

Information picked up by Business & Financial Times indicates that the modalities of management transition from SISF to NTHC have been completed.

The board and senior management of NTHC met over the weekend to take a critical look at the organisational structure as well as other crucial issues required for a smooth take-off.

B&FT’s source also indicated that all staff of the SSNIT Informal Sector Fund have gone through the essential formalities to take up responsibilities at NTHC -- and over 90% of them have already been absorbed by NTHC.

According to the National Pensions Act of 2008, Act 766, SSNIT is required by law to manage only the 1st Tier of the Basic Social Security Scheme.

The 2nd Tier, which is a mandatory, fully-funded and privately-managed occupational scheme, and the 3rd Tier, a voluntary, fully-funded and privately-managed provident fund and personal-pension scheme, are to be managed by licenced trustees.

The source told Business & Financial Times that a number of provident fund management companies expressed interest in the takeover of the Informal Sector Pension Scheme, but NTHC won the bid largely because SSNIT is its majority shareholder.

NTHC Limited is an investment-banking pioneer in Ghana. It has accumulated decades of experience and expertise since its establishment in 1976, under the auspices of the National Investment Bank (NIB), to serve as a catalyst for the creation of a stock exchange in Ghana. NTHC started business soon after incorporation and was authorised to operate as a national mutual fund in that same year.

With the advent of the new pensions-architecture, NTHC established NTHC Trustees Limited as a wholly-owned subsidiary to provide corporate trustee services to individuals and institutions under the 2nd and 3rd Tiers.

The shareholders of NTHC are SSNIT, SIC, NIB, AccreCon Consulting, SG-SSB Investment Company Limited and NTHC Provident Fund.
Source: B&FT

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