Invest in provident fund to reduce old-age poverty – NPRA

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National Pensions and Regulatory Authority

Workers in the formal and informal sectors across the country have been entreated to invest in the voluntary Provident Fund and Personal Pension Schemes (tier-3) to enable them to reduce “old-age poverty.”

According to a Zonal Head of the National Pensions and Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Yakubu Fuseini Alhassan, the tier-3, supported by tax incentives, was targeting workers in the formal sectors to provide additional funds for them to enhance their pension benefits, apart from the mandatory first tier and second tier.

Also, those in the informal sectors, according to him, would receive monthly pensions, as well as lump sum benefits when they retired.

Mr Alhassan who is in charge of the five regions in the north said these during a day’s media engagement workshop, held in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region.

He said the workshop formed part of a yearly routine event, aimed at educating stakeholders to grasp the essence of contributing to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

He said the organisation had observed a lot of workers had retired, looking “dejected and cast down” because they never took contributing to SSNIT, especially on the tier-3, seriously.

“A lot of people go on retirement with frustrations because they had something meagre to take home. So we are trying our best to provide education on the benefits of the Personal Pension Scheme,” he said.

He, therefore, called on the media to see it as their prime responsibility of shedding light on activities undertaken by the NPRA to soar workers contributions to all the tiers (first tier, second tier and third tier).

Among the engagements the organisation had been undertaking to leverage workers’ contributions to SSNIT, he indicated, was market activation, which targeted at encouraging the informal sector operators to join the Personal Pension Scheme.

“We want to have a healthy retirement at old age so we are calling on you to perform your role of disseminating information to the public on pension issues,” he added.

He disclosed that the yearly education exercise being embarked by the institution across the country over the years had achieved some considerable results because there was great improvement in the SSNIT contributions of workers.

He hinted that plans were far advanced to establishing district offices of NPRA to fast track the routine sensitisation to workers, especially those in the rural setting, to join SSNIT.

Mr Alhassan mentioned other benefits of the 3rd tier scheme as secure and regular source of income during retirement; safety and security of funds; survivors benefits; provision of decent and improved living standards while on retirement; and so forth.