An appeal has been made to the government of Ghana, particularly the Ministry of Finance to consider exempting pensioner Bondholders from the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
The proponents, Pensioner Bondholder’s Forum argue that pensioners have no source of income to support them in terms of feeding, buying regular medication, paying medical bills and meeting other critical needs, thus, including them in the DDEP would negatively impact them.
“We therefore hereby passionately appeal to your good office to exclude all pensioner government bondholders from the DDEP as the impact of the programme on pensioners who are bondholders will be very severe.” a petition submitted to the ministry of finance states.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, January 11, 2022, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, a former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said following the Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum which roped in individual bondholders,” we, Pensioners, who hold the government of Ghana Bonds, have come together through a forum, to petition your office to exempt all pensioners holding government from DDEP as was done to Pension Funds being regulated by National Pension Regulatory Authority”
Mr Antwi told the press that the basis for the exemption of Pension Funds was to ensure that pension incomes to would be- retirees are not impaired for them to become a burden on others when on retirement.
He added, “we believe strongly that the basis for the exemption granted to Pension Fund holds good for the exemption of the investments of pensioners in government Bonds from the DDEP.”
The exemption of all pension funds, however, is subject to the government and organised labour working together to explore mutually beneficial options within the debt sustainability terms.
According to Dr. Anane Antwi, the same grace extended to the pension funds should be extended to pensioners’ holdings.
According to him, it is rather unfortunate that the government would fail to prioritise the holdings of pensioners during exemptions, and would rather exempt pension funds.
“I realize the government has exempted pension funds so I want to mobilise the pensioners and also petition the government to exempt the holdings of pensioners because it’s the same amount of money that government thinks that they should not incur for people who are yet to come on pensions you want it to be at least to have some safe thing for you to retire on. If that’s the case why do you…what you have paid for people who are on retirement, why don’t you exempt that one too?” he said.
Pensioner Bondholder Forum is a forum for the protection of Pensioner investment
By: Mohammed Suleman/ Publicagendagh.com