Informal sector faces pension challenges, says NPRA official

Nana Sifa Twum, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA), has pointed out that the informal sector in Ghana is grappling with pension penetration challenges due to misconceptions about pension schemes.

He noted that pensions in Ghana were initially established with the idea that only formal workers could benefit, leaving approximately nine million people in the country without pension coverage.

In an interview with the during the launch of Pension Sunday at the Ebenezer in , Nana Twum emphasized the urgency of addressing these challenges, as many people could retire into poverty over the next five to ten years if the issues were not resolved.

Pension Sunday, a collaborative initiative between the NPRA and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), aims to improve pension literacy and expand pension coverage in the country.

The first Sunday of every October will be observed as Pensions Sunday in all 5,000 Presbyterian congregations across Ghana to raise awareness and promote participation in pension schemes.

Despite approximately 85% of Ghana's working population is in the informal sector, less than one per cent is enrolled in pension schemes.

Nana Twum revealed that the NPRA has worked diligently to bring about a seven per cent enrollment rate and has developed pragmatic programs with the aim of raising this figure to approximately 25% within the next five years.

Nana Twum stressed the importance of accepting pensions as an essential aspect of life, given that everyone will eventually retire or pass away. He highlighted that the consequences of inadequate retirement preparations could be dire for both individuals and the nation.

The 2010 National Pensions Reforms granted the NPRA the authority to increase pension literacy and coverage in Ghana. Nana Twum also mentioned that the NPRA plans to replicate Pensions Sunday in all churches.

Rt Rev Professor J.O.Y Mante, the Moderator of the General Assembly, PCG, launched the program, expressing optimism that it would enhance awareness among Ghanaians, especially members of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, encouraging them to prepare adequately for retirement.

He cited the Bible's teachings on living with dignity and financial soundness, emphasizing that pension planning aligns with these principles.

Rt Rev Mante called on 's leadership to collaborate with the NPRA in the regions to promote the program's effectiveness. He also appealed to the government to designate October each year as a pension month to raise awareness about pension-related matters, highlighting the importance of pensions in maintaining one's standard of living in retirement and providing supplemental income for unforeseen expenses.

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