NPRA ORGANIZE 2023 NATIONAL PENSIONS FAIR
This year's National Pensions Awareness Week celebration opened in Accra with a pledge by the government to support the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to establish zonal offices in all the country's regions. The Authority has six zonal offices in Tamale, Takoradi, Sunyani, Kumasi, Tema, and recently Koforidua.
The objective of the pensions week is to create awareness of the importance of pensions and improve pension coverage.
The Minister of Employment, Labour Relations and Pensions, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, who pledged in a solidarity message, said the move was to increase pension coverage in the country. The Director of Finance and Administration of the Ministry of Employment, Labour Relations and Pensions, Hamidu Adakurugu, read the message on behalf of the sector minister.
The three-day event, dubbed 'Pension Fair 2023', is being organised by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is on the theme: "My Pension, My Future" from 23rd October to 25th October 2023 at the forecourt of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The major highlight of the week was a Pensions Fair where over 24 companies operating in the pension industry showcased their products, educated the public on the importance of pensions and provided them with the opportunity to enrol on pension schemes.
The Hon. Minister lamented the low pension coverage in the country, especially among informal sector workers. He noted that the informal sector accounted for 77.1 percent of the total employed population. He said the informal sector workers were the "most prone to shocks, and therefore, without coverage of pensions, their plight becomes even more exacerbated. He commended the NPRA for organising the National Pension Awareness Week celebration to bring pensions to the spotlight.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPRA, Hayford Atta Krufi, said the programme was instituted in 2021 to educate the public on the benefits and importance of pensions.
He said the strategic objective of the NPRA was to expand pension coverage from the current six percent coverage to 40 percent by 2026.
The CEO of NPRA said his outfit had collaborated with COCOBOD to roll out a pension scheme for cocoa farmers, and when the scheme was fully implemented, about 1.5 million cocoa farmers would benefit.
Mr Krufi disclosed that the Authority would soon engage the Ghana Private Road Transport Union and the Ghana Football Association to enrol members on a pension.
The Board Chairman of NPRA, Paul Simon Koranteng, said the programme marked an important milestone for the pensions industry in Ghana and the NPRA. He said pension issues around the globe required the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in order to create public confidence in the pension industry.
Mr Koranteng said there was a need to intensify education on pensions to enable the public to understand and appreciate the importance of the scheme.
He said the NPRA had deployed a risk-based supervision system to provide a structured approach focused on identifying potential risks and taking measures to mitigate those risks.
Other speakers at the opening of the 2023 Pensions Fair were Mr. Issac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, and Thomas Esso, Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Corporate Trustees.
The opening of the week and the fair saw over 500 stakeholders from the pensions Industry, labour Unions and informal sector groups and associations participating.