Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani, has challenged pension professionals to formulate innovate ways to rope in the informal sector onto retirement schemes.
According to him the number of people registered under the mandatory Tier One pension scheme with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) was not enough if compared to the population of the country, for instance, attributing the situation to a lack of credible mechanism to ensure the large informal sector is brought on board.
“The last time I checked, there are less than two million people on SSNIT pension but there are 27 million Ghanaians.
“So I am challenging the professionals to think about how we can bring in the vast majority of Ghanaians who are self-employed and farmers and people who can set something aside for pensions,” he said Tuesday at a business forum organised by his bank and the Graphic Communications Group.
Themed ‘The Role of Pensions in National Economic Development and Sustainability’, the one-day event brought together key stakeholders in the pensions industry for critical presentations on topics such as ‘The Law and Pensions’, delivered by Angela Akosua Gyasi, a partner at prominent law firm, Bentsi, Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah; ‘Expectations of the Contributor’, presented by Charles Osei-Akoto, CEO of Stallion Trust Company Ltd and ‘Sustainability of Pensions in Ghana’, delivered by Peter Osei Duah, a former Managing Director of SIC.
Although there are 243 registered pension schemes operating under the Tier Three slot, the vast number of informal sector workers are poorly represented in pensions figures.
The informal sector workers constitute a whopping 85 percent of the total workforce of Ghana.
Addressing the well-attended the business forum on Tuesday, Mr Andani said the mantra that ‘the private is the engine of growth’ will make meaning if private trustees make progress in getting both the formal and informal sector workers on retirement funds.
“There are lots of people who are earning lots of income...Beyond the formal sector, what can the pensions professionals do to bring in the large majority of people who are not into formal pensions," he asked.
Meanwhile, the Union of Informal Workers Association (ONIWA) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said it will ensure that all its 150,000 members get registered onto a private pensions scheme by end of this year.
Already, the Association has registered 81,000 of its members onto the People’s Pensions Trust, a corporate trustee of the association.