Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a  pressure group, says it fully supports the indefinite strike action embarked upon by workers to compel the government to release the 2nd Tier Pension funds.

AFAG, in a release issued in Accra under the headline, ?Pension Scheme Strike; Legitimate,? asked the government to give further details about the workers? funds.

Indefinite strike

Last week, an amalgamation of associations within the health and education sectors, as well as judiciary and civil service started an indefinite strike, accusing the government of mismanaging their pension funds.

The government has refused to release the second tier pension funds to fund managers selected by the associations but government wants them to register with a particular fund manager, which violates the new pension law.

New pension law

Under the new pension law, SSNIT gets 13.5per cent from contributions while 5 percent goes to the second tier operators to be managed for the contributors.

This arrangement took effect from 2010 but up till now not a pesewa had been paid to fund managers under the second tier scheme.

Plight of Ghanaian workers

AFAG said, ?Ghanaian workers are among the most lowly paid in the world with a daily minimum wage of GH?6.00. After four years of collecting the second-tier contributions from workers, accrued benefits needed to be paid as pension to retiring workers have not been paid to allow workers, manage their own funds as stipulated by the law.?

The release said Ghanaian workers, particularly civil and local government staff, teachers, judicial service and health workers were being treated ?as if they do not have a legitimate claim to their own pension contributions.?

?This is an unfair and unjust treatment meted out to workers by the NDC government.?

Thievery & corruption

?AFAG is overwhelmed at the continuous rise in the thievery and corruption of this government. This pension saga is only one of the many manifestations of the poor quality of national administration by the ruling government since it assumed power in January of 2009.?

It said the rate at which public resources ?are being squandered by this government is terrifying, now they have turned their thieving machinery to the meager contributions of the already poorly paid workers who are heading towards retirement.?

Clarion call

AFAG called on workers to ?rise and fight this battle for themselves now and for their future,? saying ?AFAG identifies with the pain pensioners are currently going through at the hands of the NDC government.?

?We express our unwavering solidarity to the plight of our fellow Ghanaians. Hard-working Ghanaians should not become beggars and impoverished after their end of service to the nation just because this government is being insensitive to the plight of pensioners.?

?AFAG calls on the Trade Union, public interest groups, GUTA, students? bodies, market women, commercial vehicle drivers and every aggrieved Ghanaian, home and abroad, to join our clarion call for a massive demonstration against this insensitive government.?

By William Yaw Owusu

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