Despite the amendment made to the Domestic Debt Exchange program that includes the exemption of pension funds, some workers remain doubtful and fear they might not be able to retrieve their monies when the time is due.
It is on the back of such scepticism that the Board of Trustees of the Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme (HSOPS) and the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) have assured all government health sector workers of the safety of their contributions to the scheme.
To allay the fears of workers on the recent debt exchange program, the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), says a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the government to exempt all pension funds from the debt exchange program.
The national President of GRNMA, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo explained that the MoU includes all pension funds including tier 2 among others. She thus assured all members of the safety of their funds.
“So as a member and secretary of the health sector occupational pension scheme, and also as the president of Ghana registered nurses and midwives association and also a member of organized labour, as far as we are concerned, we have been able to sign an MOU with the government. And that MOU stated clearly that, all pension funds will be exempted from this program. In our understanding, all pension funds mean, tier 2.”
“Providence funds and even individual bonds that we have should also be covered. Because most of these are also pension funds retirees have put their monies in. It doesn’t have to be big money but some small money that they have. Whether ten thousand, fifteen thousand or five thousand, they’ve been able to put it in some of these bonds and also pension funds. So they should be left alone so that individuals are not affected and pension funds, in general, are not affected,” stated the National President of GRNMA, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo.”
The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association is however urging the government to suspend the debt exchange program considering the dire effect it will have on individual investments.
“We have seen, the haircut to these investments will have dire consequences on the schemes on the individuals and retirees. And it’s important that we suspend this program and see to it that we look at other innovative ways of actually sustaining the debt of the country and such that government will be able to progress in its management of the economy. And as individuals within the state, we should also be comfortable, but the fear around this program, I think we have all seen it. The panic in the system and all of that. And we think that this moment it will be good that the government suspends it so we look at other alternative means of addressing the debt of the country,” Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo added.
She made these statements at the commissioning of the Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme Kumasi office.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Derek Amoateng thus noted that he believes persons who are retiring in the health sector will retire with a smile as their investments are making significant returns.
“The good thing is that these funds have been growing. Especially since 2016 when funds were released to us. The fund has been growing significantly. And year by year we are making significant returns.”
”And so, I’m confident that at the rate we are growing, a lot of people who will retire in the health sector will retire with a smile, and by that, we are making sure that fund placement is done rightly and ensuring that we diversify extensively so that when there are shocks like this, it doesn’t significantly affect the growth of the scheme. And that is exactly what we are doing together with all our service providers,” Dr. Derek Amoateng assured.