The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has cautioned the Ministry of Finance and the government of Ghana, for that matter, to abandon any plans to reclassify its members’ Pension Funds for the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to the Association, any attempts to include GMA’s Pension Funds in the Programme “shall be resisted fiercely with very drastic actions that will certainly disrupt the industrial harmony nationwide”.
These were contained in a press statement issued on Thursday, February 9, a day before the final deadline for the Programme expires.
Though government reached a consensus with Organised Labour to exempt all pension funds from the Programme, reports are that some retirement packages are being reclassified to be included in the Programme.
The reports said funds regulated by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) will be the only ones classified as Pension Funds. This is said to be contained in the 2nd Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum.
But GMA insists that its pensions fund, set up in 2002, predates the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) and serves as the only incentive keeping doctors in Ghana.
“It has since its inception operated as a Pension Fund with benefits paid out only upon retirement as per the trust deed,” the statement jointly signed by President Frank Serebour and General Secretary Titus Beyuo said.
“No withdrawal is permitted before retirement.
“It is also instructive to note that the GMA’s Pension Fund does not give loans or overdrafts.”
The mother doctors’ labour union said by the agreement signed with the Secretary-General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) last year, the government was exempting doctors’ pensions as well.
“In line with this, the GMA Pension Fund is duly exempted and does not fall under the current DDE Programme.
“The GMA takes this opportunity to strongly caution the Ministry of Finance and government for that matter, and in no uncertain terms that any attempt to reclassify the GMA’s Pension Fund as something other than a Pension Fund and place same under the DDE Programme, shall be resisted fiercely with very drastic actions that will certainly disrupt the industrial harmony nationwide.”
Read the full statement below:
— My Ghana Media (@MyGhanamedia2) February 10, 2023
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