Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme website launched

Accra- A website, has been launched in Accra, to provide comprehensive information on the Health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme (HSOPS) to contributors.

The website leads members who are all health sector workers to receive and give information to their trustees and the service provider on the mandatory privately managed Tier-two pension scheme.

It also provides a link to the HSOPS main database where each member could track their contributions, access and print membership certificates, make benefit projections and a host of other benefits.

Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, the Deputy Minister of Health, at the launch in Accra on Tuesday, congratulated the Board of the HSOPS, for the bold step it has taken to make information related to the Second Tier Pensions readily available to members of the Scheme.

From what I gather, all health sector employees are covered by this scheme, which would obviously make it easier to deal with issues related to second-tier lump sum benefits when payments begin in January, 2020, he said.

He indicated that the Board, had a greater responsibility in ensuring that pension funds of members were invested well for better returns, cautioning that pensions and risky ventures did not mix, and that it was hoped that the Board would continue to display efficiency in the management of pension funds under their care.

In view of this, accurate data was needed for proper administration of pensions, and urged the HSOPS Board to do everything possible to position the scheme to be able to administer the second tier pensions of health sector staff with the efficiency required.

Mr Aboagye Gyedu narrated how long the journey to achieving success to the implementation of the Tier-two pension scheme had been, but said the payment of GH3.1billion in Tier-two pension funds by the government in January 2018, to the custodial accounts of various labour unions’ pension schemes, had brought closure to a six-year tussle between government and the unions over management of the funds.

He called on the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, who was in charge of pensions to do all he could to bring a further closure to the Temporary Pension Fund Account, which was lodged with the Bank of Ghana.

January 2020 is just around the corner and even as we speak, there are those who have already voluntarily retired and would require payment of their second tier benefits, he said.

The Deputy Health Minister acknowledged the fact that Pension was a serious ‘business’ that had far reaching implications for individuals, families, communities and nations.

Mr Aboagye Gyedu said the health sector was made up of varied health professionals and many associations and unions, and it was hoped that all health sector employees no matter their location in Ghana, would be enrolled unto the scheme and have access to their statements and other relevant information on the website to guide them in their preparation towards their pension.

He said the Ministry of Health was ever ready to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in ensuring that the HSOPS thrived for the betterment of health workers.

Dr Derek Amoateng, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the HSOPS, introduced the 15-Member Board and the Service Providers, which include the Fund Managers and Auditors of the Scheme.

He also introduced the Enterprise Trustees as the Administrators, with Cal Bank custody services being the Custodians, while the UMB Asset Management Holdings and Frontline Capital advisors were the Fund Managers.

He gave a brief history about how the passage of the national pensions Act 2008 Act (Act 766) as amended, led to the introduction of the new 3 tier pension scheme in January 2010, saying, this has brought hope to many workers in Ghana.

The tier 2 pension he said, was particularly important because it provided a retirement tax-free lump sum, which was given at the beginning of retirement, because it was funded by the mandatory five percent out of the 18.5 per cent pension contribution, received on behalf of members plus interest accrued short of the permitted charges.

The scheme, he said, has made steady strides since it started operations in 2012 initially with the joint efforts of the HSWU and GRNMA.

Our assets under management has skyrocketed several fold, which was welcome news to all retirees from the health sector especially from 2020.

He used the opportunity to urge the various agencies involved to hasten the process to allow all stray members who found themselves in the fifth scheme to be moved back unto the HSOPS so that they could run with a united front in the health sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency