The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (Clogsag) has officially launched a housing scheme (Pempamse Housing Scheme) in partnership with Hedge Pensions Trust, to aid members secure funding for housing projects.
This will help to address challenges workers encounter in payment of rents.
Housing ownership for most workers in the public sector has been a mirage especially those with low levels of salary and the new partnership is an opportunity for all to embrace.
The ‘Pempamsie’ Housing Scheme, gives members a minimum mortage of Ghc 50,000 to undertake building projects in phases.
The Pempamsie Mortgage Product is an innovative pension related product for members of CLOGSAG and has received approval from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
The Executive Director for Hedge Pensions Trust and also, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr. Isaac Bampoe Addo revealed that, previous attempts by governments to provide affordable houses to workers have not been successful, as prices are beyond the reach of a large majority of public officers.
The Hedge Pension Trust according to Mr. Bampoe Addo initiative is to actualize the provision under the National Pensions Act, 2008, (Act 766) section 103 and 114 of the Act for the benefit of their members.
The scheme he explained, may allowed a member to use that members benefits to secure a mortgage or the acquisition of a primary residence adding that, a member is not liable to pay tax on any withdrawal under the section.
Also, there could be a situation where a member could use his/her benefits to secure a mortgage for the acquisition of a primary residence.
Furthermore, there could also be a situation where the person might need to acquire a plot of land to build a primary residence or, purchase their primary residences whilst in ative Service, and instead of paying rent, the money can be used towards owing their own houses.
The terms and conditions of accessing the Pempamsie Mortgage product (PMP) Mr. Bampoe mentioned include being a member of CLOGSAG; must be a contributor to the Hedge Master Trust Occupational Pension Scheme (Tier 2); must be a contributor to the Pempamsie Fund (Tier 3); and must be a contributor to the CLOGSAG Fund.
“This is good news for all members who are contributors to the Pempamsie Tier 3 Fund. A roof over the head of a worker is primary importance especially when it is to be achieved through th benefit of the third tier of the three-tier pension scheme”.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah in his address stated, “One of the beautiful things we have is that pension funds put together is well over 40 billion cedis as we speak, so if every pension fund is doing a little of what Hedge Pensions Trust is doing today, you call tell the number of housing schemes we will be bringing on board on annual basis”.
He commended CLOGSAG and Hedge Pensions Trust for the wonderful move added that, the scheme would enable workers not to demand always for higher salaries as they spent about one third of their income on rent and accommodation.
Mr Baffuor Awuah noted that, the Scheme would help CLOGSAG members to have a reliable place of their own and reduce the demands made by workers on the Government to pay for their rent.
The Minister expressed appreciations to GCB Bank for being a part of the Scheme and asked the leadership of CLOGSAG to carefully roll out the plan in such that it would not affect the financial standing of members.