A new partnership has been signed by People's Pension Trust, Vodafone Ghana, operators of Vodafone Cash and Dusk Capital, a fund managment company to provide easier and quick pension solutions to all workers in Ghana particularly those in the informal sector. The mobile money enabled pension scheme was launched at a short ceremony in Accra Ghana, thursday.
The scheme is to provide all Ghanaian workers the opportunity to save money towards a secured and more fulfilling future by making voluntary contributions through vodafone cash. The CEO of People's Pension Samuel Waterberg told Myjoyonline.com the new pension scheme is to bridge the trust gap workers have about previous pension schemes. "Trust is an issue, accessibility of pension and then collection. So I wanted to bring people on board that have the needed trust and to make pension accessible for all," he said. "With mobile phone cash and we all know about 95% of Ghanaians have mobile [phones]. If you have a mobile phone and you subscribe for mobile money then you have the opportunity to save for a pension," he said.
Explaining the modalities for the new pension scheme, Mr Waterberg said: "You have to sign on Vodafone Cash, and then you register on People's Pension for all after which you can start to pay. So you decide how much and when you want to pay," he said, adding, "after payment we also give you access to check your account to see if we have received your money and the investment to be done with your money."
Bernard Osei Tutu, CEO of Dusk Capital who are the fund manager of the pension scheme said their role is to ensure the "highest standard of integrity and accountability." "This has never happened in our industry as far as pension is concerned," he said. He explained the payment structure currently prevailing in the pension industry makes it difficult for workers, particularly in the informal sector to pay for their future financial security but the pension for all scheme makes it easier for everyone to contribute.
"With Vodafone cash coming on board, it becomes easier. At the comfort of your room you can sit and dial a code and send your money.
Before this [scheme] somebody would have to walk to the bank only to pay Ȼ2.00," he intimated, a scenario which prevents low income earners from contributing towards their future. Osei Tutu said the funds accrued will be invested in better portfolios that will give better rates of interest for contributors.
The Corporate Affairs manager for the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Emmanuel Awuku Dagbanu said his outfit will ensure the challenges which confronted the microfinance schemes in the country recently will not be repeated in the pensions industry. "We will try as much as possible to make sure the industry is well regulated. Pensions can be somebody's last resort", he said assuring that the three partners in the pension scheme have been licensed and will be monitored to ensure they protect the interest of contributors.
He said both the trustee and the NPRA should be held responsible in the event of breach of trust.