Scores of pensioners and public sector workers have expressed dismay at the pension package offered by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) saying they would embark on industrial action if the anomaly was not rectified.
â€œThere will be total lockdown of public sector activities on June 25, if SSNIT does not follow the correct procedure and formula in paying past credits to pensioners,â€ Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Chairman of the Forum for Public Sector Registered Pensions Schemes, said.
Members to undertake the industrial action are Health Service Workersâ€™ Union, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Ghana Physician Assistantsâ€™ Association, Government Hospital Pharmacistsâ€™ Association, and the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists.
Others are the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme set up by the Ghana Association of Teachers, Teachers and Educational Workersâ€™ Union, the National Association of Graduate Teachers, and Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana.
Mr Bampoe Addo, flanked by Mr Thomas T. Musah, the General Secretary of Ghana Education Service Occupational Scheme, Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, representing the Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme, and Mr Derrick Annan for the Judicial Service Occupational Pension Scheme affirmed their commitment to fight for improved pension.
He explained that Past Credits were lump sums that contributors had earned prior to 2010 before retirement.
He said in accordance with Act 766 of the Pensions Act, Past Credits must be transferred to the private schemes, which SSNIT had not complied with.
The Act states that Past Credits should be determined by a formula agreed between the Pensions Reforms Committee and the Trust based on actuarial assessment.
â€œCurrently what SSNIT is paying as past credit is against the law,â€ Mr Bampoe Addo stated, and called on workers to fight for their right whiles in active service, adding; â€œNo worker should seat on the fence. Issues of pension affects everyoneâ€.
Meanwhile, the Forum said it had been overwhelmed with ceaseless calls from retirees who had been paid exceptionally low past credits by SSNIT on its own terms, instead of complying with the dictates of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), leaving pensioners with very little to go home with.
Some of the pensioners at the meeting told newsmen that SSNIT had short-changed them and pledged their support for the industrial action.
Also, statements from the Trust on the payment of their past credits did not tally with the actual amounts they were paid, the pensioners said.