Health Workers Call For Transfer Of Funds

The Health Sector Unions and Associations of Ghana (HSUAG) has called on government and National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to transfer all contributions and returns in the Temporary Pensions Funds (TPF) into the registered 2nd Tier Scheme Account. In a press release signed by the Abu D. Kuntulo, the General Secretary, Health Service Workers’ Union HSWU (TUC) and received by Ghana News Agency on Thursday, Government’s actions and inactions towards the 2nd tier pensions scheme is unsatisfactory and is in conflict with the Social Protection offered by the Pensions Act 2008, (Act 766) which is contrary to the directions in section 218(1) (4) of the Pensions Act. The release stated that, the 2nd tier pension is investment ridden and yet government is in arrears with regards to the payment of the contribution leading to loss of investment returns. Adding that, refusal by NPRA and government to render account or transfer funds from TPF account into the Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme (HSOPS) account is giving cause for suspicion that the fund is being dissipated. Therefore, HSUAG have come together to establish and duly registered the health sector occupational pension scheme, with the guidance of the national Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) and the NPRA at TUC Board Room on May 28, 2014. The association which includes HSWU of TUC-Ghana, Ghana Registered Nurses’ Association (GRNA), Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Government Hospitals and Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA), Association of Health service Administrators, Ghana (AHSAG), Health Accounting Staffs Association of Ghana (HASAG), Ghana Physicians Assistants Association and Ghana Association of Nurses Anesthetics (GNA), It further explained that, the registration of the HSOPS and the appointment of its service providers that is, Pensions Fund Managers, Custodians and Scheme Administrators as required in order to create a social protection, which is a strong pillar of decent work agenda that drives future investment of workers in a comfortable retirement. "In the light of the foregoing, we the Health Sector Unions and Associations hereby resolve that we shall resist with all our might any attempt by government to impose Pensions Alliance Trust or any scheme other than the HSOPS on us”, it stated. It also stated that NPRA and government should as a matter of urgency, transfer all accumulated 2nd tier pension contributions of Health Sector Workers as at 31st May, 2014 into the Health Sector Occupational Pensions Scheme Account. Moreover, the effective 1st June, 2014 government which is Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Controller and Accountant General and NPRA should ensure that all monthly 2nd Tier pension contributions due the members of HSUAG are paid into the Health Sector Occupational Pensions Scheme Account. The statement again affirms that, the issues raised in this resolution should be addressed by 14th July, 2014 to avoid any disturbances in the health delivery system, in the interest of industrial peace and harmony. They therefore urge government and NPRA to seriously consider and address all issues raised by the Health Sector Labour Union and Associations, as well as any similar calls by other public sector unions without any further delay.