Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE indicate that the Tier 2 Pension Fund Account?the centre of recent public workers? agitation?is in arrears of over GH?270 million, owing to government?s inability to honour its statutory obligation.
Public sector workers embarked on a two-week strike following the brouhaha over who should manage their Tier 2 pension under the new Pension Act which has been in operation since January 2010.
According to reports monitored on Joy FM last night, the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), in a document sent to Parliament, revealed that government through the Controller and Accountant General, had failed to transfer GH?269,269,105 of workers? pension contributions to the Tier 2 account with the Bank of Ghana.
This revelation will further deepen the mistrust between government and the workers especially when the Mahama administration had been churning out conflicting figures about the actual amount in the Tier 2 pension account at the Bank of Ghana.
Spokesperson for the Registered Public Sector Workers Forum, the group that went on the two-week strike until a court ruling compelled them to call off the action, Reynolds Tenkorang, told Joy FM that the workers were not ?surprised at all? about the development because it had been their suspicion all along.
?The cat is out of the bag,? Mr Tenkorang said.
This, he said, explained why government had deliberately ?collapsed? schemes registered by the workers and was compelling them to sign onto the Pensions Alliance Trust it had unilaterally appointed.
Even though they formed their various pension schemes to manage their Tier 2 pension funds, government insisted that the workers should register with Pensions Alliance Trust compulsorily, leading to the protracted strike action which was only called off on Wednesday.
The Pensions Act stipulates that if an employer fails to transfer workers? contribution within 14 days from the end of each month, it would be liable to a 3% penalty.
Mr Tenkorang therefore insisted that government be made to pay 3% on the GH?269 million it had defaulted in transferring for months.
He said the workers would wait for an audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers to properly ?dissect? the report and determine how much the government owed them.
The government through the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations had said the Tier 2 account had accrued a little less than GH?450 million before the NPRA, the custodian of the account, said it was rather GH?1.64 billion.
Now the NPRA says the government is yet to pay workers? contributions to the tune of over GH?270 million from May 2012 to September 2014 even though workers? contributions were deducted.
It emerged that between May 2012 and September 2014, government failed to pay more than GH?270 million into the account although it collected workers? contributions.
The NPRA document also showed that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) also failed to transfer contributions collected between June and September 2014 into the Tier 2 account.
According to the report, ?The total outstanding contributions determined on the basis of Bank Transfer Advices (BTAs) for Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) as at October 27, 2014 was GH?269,269,105.79.
This amount excludes the amount for the contribution of months of August 2014 and September 2014 for which BATs are yet to be issued.
The GH?269,269,105.79 was also without interest on delayed contributions and on unpaid contributions, meaning if final reconciliation was done the money would be running into several millions of Ghana cedis.
?It is worth noting that the total amount outstanding for SSNIT is yet to be determined based on BTAs submitted to NPRA by SSNIT,? the document stated.