Story by: Ishmael Barfi
Pensioners numbering about two hundred (200) have called on the Government of Ghana to exempt them this their investments from the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP) in it’s efforts to stabilize the current economy.
According to the retirees who holds various government bond indicated that, capturing their hard earned investment over the years would have dire consequences on their livelihood and their respective dependents.
The pensioners made this appeal at a press conference held on Wednesday 11th January, 2023 at VAG Hall, Accra under the Pensioners Bondholders Forum.
Addressing the press, the Convener of the forum, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, explained that most of them had made investments in government bonds, with the expectation that the coupons (interest payments) would supplement the “meagre” pensions they do receive through the tier one pension scheme under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
To them, their monthly pensions from SSNIT have been eroded by inflation, reiterating that, these coupons have become their core income, while waiting for the payment of the principal amount on maturity.
According to Dr Anane Antwi, looking at the age bracket of his colleagues, there is no guarantee that many of them would live long enough to benefits from their investments since on the terms and conditions of the Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum under the DDEP which has been extended to 15years.
At the press conference, many of Pensioners present expressed their shock and feelings of not receiving any amount from their investments this year.
Therefore could not accept the proposal that their lump sum pensions invested in government bonds were going to see less than promised coupons which, together with principal investments, would mature in over 15 years.
Although the atmosphere was calm, one can see the agitations, worry and disturbed on the faces of these pensioners who have invested their monies in government bonds hoping to get some interest to support their livelihood and their families.