|NPRA OUTREACH PROGRAMME ON THE NEW THREE TIER PENSION SCHEME IN SEKONDI/TAKORADI IN THE WESTERN REGION|
The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) on the 25th and 26th September, 2012 Educated and Sensitized the Informal and Formal Sector Workers in Sekondi/Takoradi and its environs on the New Three Tier Pension Scheme.
The education and sensitization programme forms part of the ongoing nationwide outreach programme, embarked upon by the Authority to educate and create awareness on the new Pension Scheme, under the kind courtesy of the World Bank sponsored programme, through the Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP).
In an opening address, Mrs. Rita Afua Adzovie, the Director of Corporate Affairs enlightened the participants on some implementation processes undertaken by the Authority since its inception. She informed the participants on the required Regulations and Guidelines under National Pensions Act 2008, (Act 766) which have been successfully published to operationalise the smooth implementation of the new scheme. She assured the participants of continuous engagement with stakeholders to afford them a consultative approach in the implementation processes. She also informed participants of licensed Corporate Trustees and Pension Fund Custodians and Pension Fund Managers registered by the Authority, who have been embarking on various marketing campaigns. She encouraged, especially, employers to cooperate with the NPRA’s service providers, with regard to the registration of respective schemes under Tier 2 and Tier 3, and also advised workers to show more commitment in pension issues and social welfare at large in order to secure their retirement security.
The two days’ presentations were done by Mr. Emmanuel Awuku Dagbanu, Education & Training Manager. Dr. Yaw Baah, a Board Member and also the Chairman of the Publicity and Education Committee, and Mrs. Rita Afua Adzovie, Director of Corporate Affairs, facilitated and took turns to make contributions and answer questions from participants and also granted interviews to the media in relation to the programme. The focus of the facilitators was to highlight on the reform and benefits of the 3-tier scheme, the responsibilities of the Authority as well as its stakeholders, especially, service providers, towards the successful ongoing implementation of the new scheme. They also assured participants that the Authority had conducted several checks to ensure the credibility of Trustees and other service providers since the safety of the contributors and pensioners were critical in the mandate of the Authority.
At the Informal Sector Forum held at the SSNIT Conference Room, the Takoradi Actors Guild put together an impressive performance to explain the concept of the scheme and its benefits, with special focus on the Informal Sector’s participation. The Authority’s aim of using a drama troupe at the Informal Sector Forum was to afford participants the full benefit of understanding the new scheme and to encourage their participation in the 3rd Tier. The Formal Sector forum was also held at the Takoradi Shippers’ Authority Conference Room, where participants were taken through a comprehensive presentation and given the opportunity to ask questions and make contributions, which were addressed by the NPRA Facilitators. The Authority invited officials from SSNIT to be present at both programmes to address any concerns of the participants in relation to their management of the 1st Tier. A representative from the Financial Sector Division of the MOFEP was also in attendance with other NPRA supporting staff. Both programmes attracted over 600 participants from these informal and formal sector groups. The Authority wishes to acknowledge the support of Regional Secretaries and staff of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in all its regional outreach programmes. The Authority urges the media to continue to partner them and participate fully in its effort in educating and sensitizing the general public on pension issues and also to encourage them to plan towards their retirement income security.