What is the Pension Act of 2008?

What are some of the benefits of this new pension scheme

  • Returns on Investment: The essence of allowing the private sector to manage the scheme is to make available to contributors an opportunity to make higher returns on their contributions with respect to the second and third tiers.

  • Tax Reliefs: The Act provides for up to 35% of employees income to be (whether contributed by employer alone or in partnership with employee), exempted from tax when set aside for retirement related investment within the framework of the New Pension Law. Additionally the returns on this income will not be taxed under the new scheme.

  • Protection of Accrued Returns: The law prohibits the attachment of the returns on the investment in the execution of a judgment debt or such returns being used as a charge, pledge, lien, or being transferred, assigned or alienated by or on behalf of the member.

  • Improved Customer Service: The new scheme which comes with a compliance and performance monitoring regulator will ensure improved service in the administration of the schemes under the two tiers to be privately managed.

What is the 3 Tier Pension Scheme?

The new pension scheme has 3 levels from which employees benefit

Level 1 (Tier 1): is the mandatory basic national social security managed by SSNIT. Contribution to this is 13.5% of basic salary.

Level 2 (Tier 2): is the mandatory occupational pension scheme managed by a Trustee who appoints Fund managers and Custodian Bank. Contribution to this is 5% of basic salary.

Level 3 (Tier 3): is a voluntary pension scheme for workers and self-employed workers in the informal sector and is managed by a Trustee. Contribution is up to 16.5% of basic salary.

Who is a Trustee?

A Trustee is an individual or company given the legal authority or appointed to oversee the day-to-day management of money or property of a trust. E.g.: Kimpton Trust Ltd.

Why should we appoint a Trustee to manage our Pensions Fund?

  • To secure the scheme registration

  • To ensure that pension fund managers and custodians comply with regulatory requirements or guidelines.

  • To maintain investment policy statements and internal control procedures prescribed by the NPRA.

  • To ensure that the investment of funds of the scheme is diversified to minimize investment risk.

  • To act as a provident trustee in financing relationship with its members.

  • To process transfer and payment requests as contained in the trust.

  • To keep proper accounting records and a members' register.

  • To prepare and lodge annual audited financial statements, scheme and investment reports and other relevant records that the NPRA may require.

  • To perform other functions as may be directed by the NPRA.

What is expected of me as an employer?

  • Provide administrative and accounting services required to enable a worker join and contribute to a personal pension scheme of the employee's choice.

  • Make appropriate payroll deductions from the monthly salary of a worker who desires to contribute to a personal pension scheme and remit the contributions within 14 days to the approved trustee.

  • Not to mingle payroll deductions with the employer's own funds. Deductions shall be held in trust till it is remitted to the approved trustee.

  • Provide remittance statement to approved trustees.

  • Display certificate of participation.

  • Provide monthly pay-record to employees, stating the various deductions and the dates the contributions were paid to the approved trustee.

  • Keep records of all payments made in respect of each employee.

  • Respond to inquiries by employees regarding their contributions within 14 days.

  • Provide information and any changes thereafter to the trustee relating to employers business address and name, employees residential address, telephone number.

What happens when an employee resigns?

The law provides for a member of a scheme to elect to transfer his/her accrued benefits to another registered scheme when he/ she changes employment, and both the previous employer and the trustees of that scheme are obliged to comply in effecting the transfer and the necessary notifications.

What happens to my funds when I resign from my current employers and join a different company?

Tier 3 lump sum is paid to you according to SLA between us and your employers, however, members who have not contributed for 10 years will not enjoy tax relief. You are required to port Tier 2 benefit amount to the Trustee of your new employer’s. We would continue to manage your fund until we are notified to proceed with porting.

What happens to my contributions I made between 2010 and 2012 when I had no trustee.

All those contributions were received by SSNIT on behalf of the NPRA. Arrangements are underway to transfer them to the appointed trustees of the employees.

How do I port or transfer my benefits?

Fund transfer/porting instructions should be sent to the trustees of your former employer to transfer your funds into your funds with Kimpton Trust Ltd. A similar or copy of this instruction should be given to Kimpton Trust Ltd to enable us initiate the move to get your funds transferred in respect of your current scheme. This can be done personally or through your HR.

How soon would I be paid when I file a claim

Per NPRA’s directives, a maximum of 90 days from filing day. However at Kimpton Trust Ltd, the maximum claims payment time is 30 days.

Can I make voluntary contributions to my Tier 2 or 3?

Voluntary contributions cannot be made to Tier 2 scheme but can be made to Tier 3 scheme. You can also take advantage of Kimpton Trust Ltd’s Personal Pensions product to provide you with extra income when you are no longer strong enough to work. Contact us for more details.

When can members of a scheme withdraw from the scheme and how much can they withdraw?

Tier two

  • When a member attains retirement age he/she is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • When a member who has not attained retirement age but has attained the age of fifty years and is not employed or self- employed is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • A person who is not a citizen of Ghana who does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for benefit but desires to emigrate permanently from this country may be entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • A member of the scheme who is retired on the decision of a properly constituted medical based on the advice of a suitably qualified physician certifying that the employee is no longer mentally or physically capable of performing the functions of the office is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • A member who is retired due to total or permanent disability either of mind or body is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • A member who retires before the age of fifty years in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.
  • On the death of a member of the scheme, the approved Trustee shall pay the whole of the member's accrued benefits as a lump sum.

Tier Three

  • A member who has attained the retirement age is entitled to the entire accrued benefits in the scheme in a lump sum.

  • A member who has not attained the retirement age may withdraw all or part of the member's accrued benefits in the scheme -after ten years from the date of first contribution in the case of provident fund or personal pension scheme for contributors in the formal sector.
    after five years from the date of first contribution in the case of personal pension scheme for contributors in the informal sector
    following a certification by a medical board that the contributor is incapable of any normal gainful employment by virtue of a permanent physical or mental disability.

  • On the death of a member of the scheme, the beneficiaries of the estate of a deceased contributor may withdraw the accrued benefits of the deceased from the scheme.

Will our contributions be invested separately or with other employers?

Contributions will be invested with other employers who sign on to the scheme, called master trust scheme. It is cost effective as you benefit from economies of scale. You can however opt for a separate scheme.