Government has been accused of criminal conduct for breaching the Pensions Act, after it defaulted in transferring pensions funds deducted from workers' contributions over months.

This is coming on the heels of controversy over exactly how much has been lodged in the account, and who should manage the Tier 2 pension funds, which forced public sector workers to call a strike that was called off on Tuesday.

Section 3 (3) of the National Pensions Act 2008, Act 766 says “Out of the total contribution of eighteen and a half per centum an employer shall within fourteen days from the end of each month transfer the following remittances to the mandatory schemes on behalf of each worker.”

Subsection 10 states: “An employer who fails to remit total contributions within the time stipulated in subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of two thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment for two years or to both.”

However, a report by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to Parliament, intercepted by Joy News, revealed that government as at October 27, 2014 is withholding an amount of GHS269, 269,105.79 it should have transferred into a designated Bank of Ghana account.

“It is not just a requirement… If the government is not doing that, then the government is not just making the workers worse of, government is actually breaking the law, and government should simply get out of the second tier pension fund,” Mr. Kweku Kwarteng, Member of Parliament for Obuasi West told Joy News Thursday.

The Authority, according to the report to the Finance Committee of Parliament, undertook a number of investments in Treasury Bills and government bonds during the years under review. But workers would likely be denied of their investment returns if government fails to pay on time, Mr. Kwarteng remarked.

While public sector workers battle government over the management of their second tier pension scheme, Kweku Kwarteng said if government is allowed to appoint the trustee, the trustee would not be willing to disclose to workers if government defaults in payment.

“Government should have no business in the second tier pension fund,” he reiterated his call.

The Finance Minister would soon be invited by Parliament to answer why government is holding on to GHS269, 269,105.79 of workers contributions, he hinted.

Tags: