Background of Pensions
The development of Pensions and Social Security schemes in Ghana have had a very interesting history. While Social Security in Europe was as a direct consequence of the industrial revolution, in Ghana, it was the result of a combination of factors such as colonization, industrialization and urbanization.
Our history of establishing Social Security can be looked at both Pre- and Post- independence eras.
In the Pre-independence era, private schemes were established for urban wage earners. Some of these schemes included the Pension Ordinance of 1946 (a non-contributory Pension Schemes established for African Civil Servants), the Teachers’ Pension Ordinance (which was also established under the Ordinance of 1946). My alma-mater, the country’s premier University of Ghana, then University of Gold Coast, has also established a Private Superannuation Scheme for senior members and lecturing staff.
Meanwhile, some private organisations have also established, and were operating Superannuation, Pension and Provident Fund Schemes for some category of their employees. Your guess is right, if your conclusion is that these organisations were foreign owned.
In the post-independence era, attempt was made to expand the coverage of Social Security for workers due to the social, economic and political challenges created by the rural-urban migration in the search of formal jobs (white-collar jobs.)
The Compulsory Savings Scheme was established in 1960, which had its own challenges and was abolished in 1965. Meanwhile, the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah established the T. O. Asare Committee with the terms of reference of making recommendation for the possibility of establishing a National Pension and Insurance Scheme for workers. The first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah announced this at the opening of the Trade Union Hall in Accra in 1960.
Consequently, on 17th February, 1965 the parliament of the first Republic of Ghana passed the Social Security Act, 1965, Act 279 to establish a Social Security Fund to provide for contributors, benefits under superannuation, invalidity, Survivor, among others.
That was the turning point in the life of workers as Social Security Schemes of a national dimension was enacted for workers. (Are you interested in the history of Pensions? Read more from SSNIT website.)
National Pensions Act, 2008 Act 766
My purpose of this article is actually to discuss the “Good Features (fine lines) of Act 766” which has revolutionalise Social Security administration, practice and the benefits workers and contributors in Ghana will achieve.
I am very sure we are all aware of the establishment of the (Late) Bediako Commission to make recommendations for pension reforms in Ghana. Let me also state here that the workers agitations that engulfed the pre- and early post- independence eras regarding pensions are all similar in nature. Similar “concern arose to a peak in agitation and protests by workers organisations” to restore public service pensions to CAP 30 (Par. 3; White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Commission of Pensions, July 2006). These agitations can actually be summarised as inadequate pensions and inefficient management or administration of Social Security funds.
Click this link to download and read the full article