The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has explained that its plan to establish a Holding Pensions Trust is primarily to encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of business opportunities presented by the Pensions Reforms.
The authority wants to implement the initiative by September as part of its strategies to compel firms which are not remitting their workers’ 2nd tier contributions to do so.
In an interview with JOY BUSINESS, the Chief Executive, Sam Pee Yarley dismissed suggestions that the authority would by this be playing the role of both a regulator and a player – explaining that the goal is rather to expand the coverage of the new pensions scheme to hinterlands where the registered Trustees are reluctant to go.
“From our records, we see that the trustees are interested in only Accra and Tema establishments and when we talk to them, we realize this is only because for them, the cost of chasing just about 2 or 3 workers in places as far as Sefwi and New Amanfrom etc is very high. So we as an authority have decided that after August, we would come out with a Pensions Holding Trust for all firms that have not joined the new scheme but are still making SSNIT contributions to channel their contributions through this trus” he said.
But we are not players but only regulators and so we’re not going to establish a company to do that but only promoting the idea so that any Ghanaian including the existing trustees that would have the business plan to reach the unreachables would then have to register” he said.
According to him, the initiative has become inevitable especially because Social Security and National Insurance Trust, SSNIT (the public institution which manages the mandatory first tier contributions) has officially served notice to end the administrative services it has been providing in the collection of the 2nd tier contributions.
“SNNIT want to also do their own core business of collection because it’s so timing consuming for them to be collecting, reconciling and transferring the monies. And four years after the establishment of the NPRA, we should be able to do things on our own and so this is part of arrangements towards full implementation of the act” he noted.
“And so we have just taken the decision and now selling the idea to the trustees individually so that so that can vary their business plans to capture that market can do so and of course they do not need any new licence to do that. It is well within the law for any arrangement that would ensure compliance and so if there is any entity with such business plans because they have what it takes including even SSNIT, they are welcome , so that we can ensure that the working class are not deprived of the their rights to pensions” he concluded.