The current pensions law has not made adequate provision for close to 10.2 million people who remain largely in the informal sector and are not captured under the three-tier pension scheme, Samuel Bediako Waterberg, a pensions expert, has said.
It is estimated that Ghana has a 12 million active workforce, out of which only 15 percent are in the formal sector and are contributors to at least one of the three pension schemes – leaving the vast majority of the workforce without any form of pension, Mr. Waterberg said.
Speaking at a workshop on micro-pensions organised by the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa on Wednesday, Mr. Waterberg – who is CEO of People’s Pension Trust – said the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) does little to encourage trustees to rope workers into the informal sector.
“Currently, unlike in the formal sector where it is easy for trustees to easily mobilise funds from corporate institutions, in the informal sector trustees would have to spend fortunes looking for contributors and getting them to make regular contributions.
“So, what is happening is that because there is no special incentive for trustees to focus on the informal sector, the informal sector has become a no-go area – given the high operational costs for those who may decide to focus on that sector,” he added.
According to him, only 27,000 workers in the informal sector are contributing to any sort of pension scheme, which is about 0.0001 percent of the entire population in the informal sector’s active workforce.
He mentioned that apart from the law not making adequate provision for the informal sector, the lack of an appropriate mode of payment beyond cash makes it very cumbersome in operating a pension scheme for the informal sector.