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Labour unions kick against any ‘haircut’ on pension funds of workers

Labour unions in the country have vowed to kick against any attempt by the government to reduce the value of pension funds of public sector workers.

At a news conference on Monday, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu disclosed that the government on Friday held a meeting with various Fund Managers and announced its intention to reduce the values of investments of public sector workers due to the debt exchange programme.

Mr. Carbonu said the labour unions have been shortchanged by this decision of government.

He noted that NAGRAT and the other unions will resist the decision.

“The teacher unions will not accept this. We are members of the forum made up of the public sector unions and we want to assure our members that we will resist this move by government by any means necessary…We will not under any circumstances be shortchanged by any government taking away any pensioner’s money,” he stated.

This follows an announcement on Sunday, December 4, by the Finance Minister of a debt restructuring programme to put the country’s debt on a sustainable path.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Debt Exchange Programme is part of a key requirement for the government to obtain an economic programme from the International Monetary Fund.

According to him, treasury bills and individual bond holders will however, not be affected by the programme.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also reiterated that there will be no ‘haircuts’ on the principal of bonds.

However, domestic bond holders will be compelled to exchange their instruments for new ones.

“Existing domestic bonds as of December 1, 2022, will be exchanged for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032 and 2037.

“The annual coupon on all of these new bonds will be set at 0% in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 10% in 2025 until maturity.

“Coupon payments will be semi-annual,” the Minister explained.

It is for this reason that the labour unions have stated their resolve not to accept any debt restructuring that will affect their investments adversely.

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