The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has met the industry players including Trustees, Pensions Fund Managers and Pension Fund Custodians to brief them on the status of the industry and communicate its activities for the coming year.
The Chief Executive Officer of NPRA in his opening address outlined some key issues to be tackled by the Authority in 2019 for the growth of the pensions sector.
Key amongst them is the proposal to increase the capital requirement for the Corporate Trustees. This he said is long overdue as there is the need to increase the minimum capital after 8 years of operation to ensure that the trustees are in good shape to manage the pension funds which is increasing significantly taking up about 5.4% of GDP as at December, 2017. He also indicated that Bank of Ghana has increased their minimum capital, SEC and Insurance Commission are all in discussion to increase the minimum capital of their respective industries, it is therefore not out of place to request for the recapitalization of the Corporate Trustees. He cautioned that the Authority is not seeking to consolidate the industry but to ensure that the industry has adequately capitalised players.
The Chief Executive Officer also informed Service providers that Authority has been given prosecutorial powers to prosecute employers who have failed to pay the contributions of their workers. He said NPRA will from next year, do all it can including using agencies to fish out all employers who have refuse to pay contributions of the workers into the various registered schemes and those who have not registered any scheme with the intention of not paying the mandatory contributions of their workers. This he said is to ensure that their workers do not surfer on retirement.
The Board Chairman of the Authority, Mr. Paul Simon Koranteng who grace the occasion acknowledge the importance these engagements and informed the service providers that the Board is working with government to ensure successful implementation of Unification of pensions which he said has been on the discussion table for some time now. He said the Board will work with Management to expedite policies on issues from these meetings.
The Director of Planning Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Ernest Amartey-Vondee who made the presentation to the service providers reiterated the need for the recapitalization to enable the Corporate Trustees handle big businesses and be able to employ professionals for the growth of the industry.
Other pertinent issues discussed which are expected to be focal in the coming year include the full enforcement of Custodian guarantee in accordance with section 158 of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) in order to protect the scheme funds, rigorous collection of data for the development of pension databank and implementation of Consumer Protection policy.
The Service Providers were also encouraged to take the education and sensitization of as part of their core responsibilities which is expected to form part of the renewal requirement in the coming year. The Trustees were also entreated to ensure that their relationship with the Pension Fund Managers and the Pension Fund Custodians are in line with the Act for the growth of the industry.
The meeting saw over 200 service providers participating in the stakeholders’ engagement.