President Akufo-Addo has made a passionate appeal to all cocoa farmers in Ghana to sign on unto the newly launched Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme which his government has designed to ensure that farmers get a decent retirement after their years of service to the Nation.
Addressing attendees of the ceremony to launch the much anticipated Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme under the theme; Securing the Future of Cocoa Farmers for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy”, at the Jubilee Park in the Subin Constituency in the Ashanti Region, President Akufo-Addo said even though successive governments for various reasons were unable to establish the scheme, he is extremely pleased that the scheme has now been established with both the legislative framework and the technical structures.
*Quest to Establish the CFPS*
President Akufo-Addo indicated in his address that upon his assumption of office, he tasked the CEO of COCOBOD, “the hard working, enterprising Joseph Boahene Adu, to begin work earnestly with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority and other stakeholders to set up a Cocoa Farmers Scheme to support cocoa farmers enjoy a decent pension”.
“Through the shared determination and expertise of those I put in charge to ensure the establishment of the scheme, both legal framework and the technical structures have been put in place to ensure the smooth take off of this all important scheme” President Akufo-Addo said
“The pension scheme will enable cocoa fathers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement while cocoa board makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of the farmers as well”. “I entreat all farmers to sign on to the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme to enjoy the full benefits of the scheme” President Akufo-Addo further stated.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Hayford Atta Krufi, in his remarks said after ten (10) years of the NPRA’s existence, the birth of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme is certainly a great anniversary gift to the NPRA. He further congratulated government for documenting about one million, five hundred thousand cocoa farmers and bringing them under the umbrella of pension’s coverage.
This have been the dream of the regulator to bring pensions to the informal sector” Hayford Atta Krufi said.
Pursuant to Section 26 of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Law 1984 (PNDC L.81) which mandates COCOBOD to establish a contributory insurance for Cocoa Farmers, the Government of Ghana in collaboration with COCOBOD and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority has set up a Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme to support the nations gallant farmers to enjoy a decent pension.
*Nature of the Scheme*
The scheme is open to all cocoa farmers in Ghana. It is designed to enable farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement while COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of the farmers. To ensure the successful rollout of the scheme, COCOBOD has in earnest, began the collection of data on farmers for the Cocoa Management System (CMS).
The CMS will hold a robust database of all cocoa farmers in the country and track their contributions. It will also facilitate the prompt payment of claims to beneficiary farmers. Cocoa farmers are, therefore, encouraged to register under the CMS in order to be part of the scheme.
*Benefits of the Scheme*
The Cocoa Farmers Scheme essentially is opened to all cocoa farmers in Ghana. It is also designed to guarantee decent retirement income for cocoa farmers for life. Additionally, a lump sum will be paid to farmers upon retirement and it will ensure that cocoa farmers will have a decent standard of living after retirement.