Npra
Employee Contributions To Be Paid In Q1-npra
NPRA
NPRA

It is certain that corporate trustees of registered second-tier pension schemes will receive employee contributions by the end of this first quarter.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of the NPRA, Mr Laud A. K. Senanu, told stakeholders in Accra on January 16 that two steps were required to effect the transfers. First, the NPRA has to? reconcile its records? on the? funds with? those from collectors, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Controller and Accountant General?s Department and the Fund Administrators.

After this, the NPRA will invite an independent auditor to audit the records before the transfers are effected.

?The committee set up to do the reconciliation started work about two weeks ago and they have up to the end of this month to complete its work.

After this, independent auditors will be called in, then the transfers can be effected,? Mr Senanu said at a stakeholders? forum with players in the pensions industry, including corporate trustees, pension fund managers and custodians.

Effecting the transfers has faced challenges because not all employers who have made the second tier pension contributions have registered their employee schemes with corporate trustees before the funds can be transferred.

Out of the 45,269 active establishments (entities) with membership of more than 1.16 million, only about 6,000 employers have registered their schemes with trustees as of December last year.

Amount accrued

So far, a total of GH?1.14 billion second tier contributions have accrued, which the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) is keeping in a Temporary Pensions Fund Account (TPFA) with the Bank of Ghana, which is acting as the custodians.

The figure there has been a major subject being contested because there are those who believe that the amount mentioned falls way below what should have accrued.

From the first statements given to contributors, it was observed that the amounts had attracted an average of four per cent.

Meanwhile the argument is that the money was supposed to have been used to buy treasury bills which has, between then and now, hovered around 22 per cent per annum and not four per cent as indicated on the statement.

Compliance

Mr Senanu said the authority was working on issuing guidelines and revising other existing ones to ensure that corporate trustees and fund managers complied with the regulatory framework.

The NPRA said its ongoing industry compliance report indicated that while the service providers were performing well, there were areas that needed improvement and they ranged from improper fund accounting, cases of changes in directors which were not reported to the regulator to conflict of interest where some persons were directors of trustee as well as fund management companies.

The acting CEO said the NPRA also discovered cases where fund managers invested in non-permitted instruments such as micro-finance institutions.

There are currently more than 99 per cent of the trustees who have also applied for renewal and the NPRA is vetting those applications.

The authority has also identified the limited presence of corporate trustees in other regions as part of the challenges facing the slow pace of schemes establishment by employers.

The new three-tier pension regime is expected to improve employees? retirement benefits but also make available long-term funds for investment and development.

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