The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) is up in arms against the Ministry of Finance over what it describes as the continuous diversion of the pension contributions of its members into the Public Sector Workers Employee’s Pension Scheme (PSWEPS), a provisional scheme for non-union members.
According to CLOGSAG, the ministry was perpetrating “a violation of the pension law” by the said “malpractice”, insisting that the scheme had outlived its usefulness and should, therefore, be scrapped with immediate effect.
Addressing the press in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Dr Isaac Bampoe-Addo, accused the ministry of supervising the syphoning and transferring of a whopping GH¢58 million to PSWEPS, an amount, he said, was supposed to be transferred to the association’s pension scheme, Hedge Pensions Trust.
He explained that about GH¢53 million of the amount was contained in a GLICO report, while the remaining GH¢5 million was allegedly diverted from the Hedge Pension Trust scheme “under spurious and unknown circumstances”.
“It is important to note that pension funds cannot be used to defray any cost or expenditure and for PSWEPS to receive such transfers and sit on it portrays another violation of the pension law. With these infringements, PSWEPS is indeed creating a bad name for the government and that PSWEPS has outlived its usefulness, hence, it must be scrapped,” he added.
CLOGSAG has, therefore, called on the Ministry of Finance to immediately transfer all the contributions with the accrued interests from PSWEPS back into the association’s Hedge Pensions Trust scheme or face its wrath.
“Pensions funds belong to the contributors, they do not belong to any person or institution, neither the scheme, the government nor employer can touch it. CLOGSAG is by this communique cautioning all to keep their hands off and allow the funds to grow for the benefit of the contributors,” Dr Addo said.
The association also wants the government to address all other outstanding issues including issues relating to the conditions of services of CLOGSAG.
Dr Addo said the matter came up strongly at a three-day meeting to find lasting solutions to issues affecting members of the association in Cape Coast last week.
He said the council, among other things, noted that staff of the CLOGSAG had over the years endured relatively lower salary levels and allowances.
He indicated that CLOGSAG using the available legitimate means petitioned the President in January 2020, who directed that the approved recommendations on their conditions of service should be expedited.
“To date, the association has not received any response on the approval of the recommendations. The delay and the deafening silence on the conditions of service of both services have created anxiety among these workers who are part of the central and local levels of governance,” he said.