Saqib Nazir, CEO People's Pension Trust.

Peoples Pension Trust (PPT) has partnered the Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) to introduce new a pension scheme.

The new programme; Scaling Gender-Focused Financial Resilience (SGFR) was launched to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day.

SGFR will support informal, marginalized, and excluded female workers and entrepreneurs to secure their future through micro-pensions.

Globally 1.8 billion people are working in the informal sector, and in Ghana, this represents approximately 80% of the population. Ghana’s informal sector workforce is predominately women, accounting for 54.9%.

This new programme will catalyse participation in pensions that will allow women to contribute small payments for long-term savings and have access to 50% of their contributions for immediate needs if necessary. The Program is targeted to reach 100,000 new customers, with 60% active female savers.

SGFR will accomplish this by partnering with women-based organisations to improve outreach and leveraging technology-based solutions to increase financial literacy and understanding of the benefits of long-term savings.

“Innovating financial inclusion is at the core of our work. By expanding financial inclusion, we build resilience to protect living standards, advance economic empowerment to increase income and asset building, and improve current and future generations’ living standards.

“The SGFR Program fully aligns with our ambitions, focusing on our key demographic, women. Furthermore, we know that working with the private sector, specifically innovative technology providers is critical, and that the work of such partners can be more effective when complemented with public-sector and philanthropic frameworks and partnerships, core to this intervention,” Sitara Merchant, Chief Executive Officer, SCBF.

It is estimated that in the next 40 years, the share of Ghanaians over 60 years old will double from 7% to 15%. As the World Bank reported (2019 Extending Pension Coverage to the Informal Sector in Africa), “One of the challenges in designing an informal sector pension scheme is reaching geographically dispersed.”

“Our business model is based on addressing the main factors for their exclusion by developing innovative, flexible, and digitally driven pension products to improve accessibility even to no-internet areas. From a commercial perspective, women are a critical demographic that tends to outperform their male peers on contributions and savings, however, they represent a lower percentage of our overall client base.

“This partnership with SBCF will allow PPT to better reach women through the development of gender-focused technology solutions and partnerships that support this year’s Women’s International Day theme to ‘BreaktheBias’ with a more inclusive approach to reaching women; from a positioning and financial literacy perspective.” Saqib Nazir, CEO People’s Pension Trust.