Petra Trust, one of the numerous trustee companies licensed under the new three tier pensions scheme to offer their services to Ghanaian pensioners says it is poised to enrich pensioners’ experiences.

Pensioners over time have complained bitterly about meager pensions owing from the defined contribution scheme that existed before managed by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Government’s move in 2008 to introduce the three tier pension scheme was in response to workers agitations about their retirement benefits.

Under the scheme, which became operational Monday since its introduction almost four years ago, tier one will still be managed by SSNIT. This will be the mandatorily defined contributions of 13% by the worker and 5.5% by the employer. There will however not be any lump sum payment like previously but only monthly pensions and related benefits such as survivors benefit.

The second tier is also mandatory but privately managed and designed primarily to give contributors higher lump sum benefits than presently available under the SSNIT or Cap 30 pension schemes; while the last tier is a voluntary provident fund and personal pension scheme, supported by tax benefit incentives.

This is to provide additional funds for the worker who wants to make voluntary contributions to enhance their pension benefits.

Aside trustees, the new scheme includes a custodian who holds the asset of the pension and a fund manager whose job it is to provide investment advice to the trustee.

Speaking on Multi TV’s pm: EXPRESS Corporate Wednesday edition, the Managing Director of Petra Trust said the company is highly resourced to better the lives of pensioners.

According to Mr. Fynn, ‘we all know that someday, our working life will come to an end. We can continue to be of benefit to the country but it would not be like your youthful days. Everyone in the formal sector owns a salary .The growth of your salary lags behind the growth of asset that you own so people who invest will grow their asset much faster than the ones who earn a salary. What SSNIT did which is a defined benefit is that every worker gets a payout based on salaries they earned in a life time”.

He continued “what the new pension scheme has done is to make every worker an owner by putting the money into a defined contribution scheme managed by pension trustees. The money will be invested into a different asset and everyone who invests will become an owner. What we expect is that the asset they own will grow faster than the growth of salary if managed properly and the trustee must do their job extremely well’.

Explaining the arrangement further, Mr. Fynn said “all assets that have been accumulated in the Bank of Ghana will be transferred to the custody account of pension trustees and then we can begin to manage it. SSNIT has provided a service to the tier two by collecting the funds. Every company signs two checks when contributing for its contribution. 13% goes to SSNIT and 5% is submitted to the Bank of Ghana for the temporary account and now that trustees have been appointed, the 5% will be moved to the trustees and the trustee selected by every company will have 5% going directly to their custody account.”

He added that the function of the custodian is to hold the asset. “You send your check to the custodian for the credit of the trustees account and the trustee will give instructions on how that scheme would be invested to the custodians”.

Kofi Fynn invited companies to select PETRA as their service providers.

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