Teacher unions in the country have given the Controller & Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) up to Friday, February 26, 2021, to pay monies due to teachers into the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS) else they will advise themselves.
According to the unions, made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and Coalition of Concerned
Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH), their checks with GESOPS Board revealed that for the past four consecutive months, the CAGD had not remitted monies due to teachers to the scheme,
thus denying them their fringe benefits under the scheme.
The deducted contributions have still not hit our accounts We the teacher unions see this action by the CAGD as a deliberate attempt to stifle us of our legitimate earnings, and nobody seems to care and this is ironic that if by the close of work on Friday, February 26, 2021, the full amount indebted to our scheme is not paid we cannot restrain our members and whatever happens in the industrial environment, the CAGD should blame itself statement issued in Accra said.
It was signed by the General Secretary of GNAT, Mr Thomas Musah; the President of NAGRAT, Mr. Eric Agbe Carbonu, and the President of CCT-Gh, Mr. King Awudu Ali.
The statement said following the failure of the CAGD to remit the monies deducted from teachers to the GESOPS, it wrote to the acting Minister of Finance, and copied to other personalities, including the acting Minister of Education, and sounded the warning that if our deducted contributions were not paid into the GESOPS Accounts by close of the day, Monday, February 8, 2021, we the teacher unions would have no option than to advise ourselves, and the CAGD would have itself to blame! (With emphasis)
“As of Tuesday, February 16, 2021, not only the CAGD has ignored our legitimate concerns but sadly treated them with contempt”, it said.
It said the National Pensions Act, 2008, Act266, with Amendment (Act 883) established the GESOPS and defined it as a work-based pension scheme, established under a trust
which provided benefits in the form of lump sum payable on the termination of service, death of retirement, among other things.
Section 96(2) states that the contribution shall be remitted by the employer within 14 days from the end of each month. These are the stipulations guiding the existence and running of the occupational pension scheme, christened Tier-2 under the 3-Tier pension arrangement now in operation in Ghana.
Indeed, the GESOPs is a tier-2 scheme, with all the relevant stipulations of the National Pensions Act. 2008, Act 766, with Amendment (Act 83) applying to it.
In this wise, all the rules and regulations covering Act, 2008.and for that matter, the GESOPS, must be strictly adhered to, it said.
The statement said Section 64 (1) of the Act charges that if a contribution was not paid within the specified period a sum equal to three per centum per month of the contribution payable shall be added to the contribution as a penalty. This has been the state of affairs all this while until recent times when things seem to be grinding to a halt, and at the teacher, unions would not stand or sit aloof and watch this happen.