The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said that Members of Parliament must be willing to contribute to any pension scheme that will serve their interest.
He said the proposed pension scheme for parliamentarians that is aimed at ensuring a quality life for them after they have left the house will be possible if the MPs themselves contribute financially to the scheme.
His call follows a directive by House Speaker Mike Oquaye, asking the House Committee to work on a scheme that will aid members upon retirement.
The Committee is expected to work with the Majority and Minority Chief Whips to ensure that the proposed pension scheme becomes a reality.
They are also expected to examine other welfare matters that concern retired Members of Parliament.
In an interview with Citi News, Osei Kyei Mensah- Bonsu said MPs must ensure their pension scheme is viable by contributing towards it.
“I think that call by the speaker was spot on. I have always advocated this. In 2008 when we were dealing with this Chinery-Hesse committee, this proposal came from me that we should be thinking about this. We need that, but we should know that there is no insurance [pension]scheme that is non-contributory. You cannot say that let members enjoy retirement package when they themselves don’t contribute anything. So I proposed those days that we should be contributing to a scheme.
Despite criticism against the plan by a section of the public that MPs already enjoy support through ex-gratia, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi in the Volta Region, Rockson Dafeamekpor, has justified the proposal.
According to him, people misunderstand what the ex-gratia entails.
“It is the back pay that I am entitled to. It is not money we are going to take somewhere to be given to me as if I am living office and am being patted at the back for a good job done. No! It is not anybody’s money. It is money I should have actually earned at a time I was holding office. In fact, when members are given this ex-gratia, they are put into an economic disadvantage because the value of the money depreciates over time,” he said.