The Minority in Parliament has called on President Akufo-Addo and his Cabinet to rescind decision to migrate the Ghana Police Service, the Bureau of National Investigations, Ghana National Fire Service and other security agencies from the CAP 30 Pension Scheme to the SSNIT Pension Scheme in a so-called attempt to unify pension schemes in the country.
This retrogressive decision of Nana Addo’s government was communicated by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Bright Wereko-Brobbey when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on 8th April, 2019.
According to the Deputy Minister, the Cabinet of President Akufo Addo had granted approval for the unification of all pension schemes under Act 766 which will ensure that all members of the security agencies except the officers and men of the Armed Forces make personal contributions to the SSNIT Pension Scheme.
But the government intention to migrate the officers and men of the security agencies from CAP 30 to the SSNIT Pension scheme has generated considerable tension and widespread agitation within the rank and file of the said security agencies – a development which portends great danger for our national security.
The Pension Ordinance Number 42 (CAP 30) established a pension scheme for public servants in the Gold Coast to cater for their retirement needs. This scheme later became known as the CAP 30 Pension Scheme.
Over the years, all public servants except for those in the security services migrated to the SSNIT Pension Scheme. The cardinal reasons for the retention of the security services on the CAP 30 Pension Scheme was the unique nature of their work, the risk associated, the number of hours spent at work and the general exposure as we send them in harm’s way.
Consequently, under the CAP 30 Pension Scheme, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department has continued to administer and pay gratuity and monthly pension to all members of the security services.
However, with the enactment of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) the security services other than the Armed Forces are to be removed from the current CAP 30 Pension Scheme to the new National Pension Scheme. When this is done, there can be no denying the fact that our officers and men in uniform will be worse off as government’s obligation to continue to pay for their gratuity and pension under CAP 30 will cease to exist.
It is in the light of the above that the cabinet of the New Patriotic Party led by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has granted approval for the development of a road map to remove the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Bureau of National Investigations and other Security services from the CAP 30 Pension Scheme.
But the Minority unreservedly condemns government’s attempt to remove the Ghana Police Service and other security services from the CAP 30 Pension Scheme. The Minority fully acknowledges the harrowing conditions under which the officers and men of the Police service and other security agencies work. For instance, in most cases, personnel of the security agencies work more than the mandatory eight hours a day for all public sector workers. This coupled with the very high levels of risks such as death, injury and permanent disability which personnel of these security agencies are often exposed to; are compelling reasons why they must be retained on the CAP 30 Scheme.
It is not for nothing that for the entire eight (8) years that the NDC ruled this country from January, 2009 to January, 2017, we never contemplated removing the Police Service, Fire Service, BNI and other security agencies from the CAP 30 Pension Scheme notwithstanding the passage of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) by an NPP Government.
The Minority hereby entreats the government of President Akufo-Addo to rescind its Cabinet decision and halt with immediate effect the attempt to migrate the Police Service and other security agencies from the CAP 30 Scheme to the SSNIT Pension Scheme under Act 766.
The Minority further entreats the NPP government to amend S.31 of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) under a certificate of urgency to exempt all other security agencies of the state.
Hon. James Agalga
Member of Parliament for Builsa North and Ranking Member, Defence & Interior Committee of Parliament